Christian Lealiifano will stay at the Brumbies unitl the end of 2016. Photo: Jeffrey Chan
The ACT Brumbies won two titles thanks to one of the game's greatest playmaking arsenals, but Christian Lealiifano says it's up to the current crop to forge their own legacy.
Inside centre Lealiifano on Sunday announced he had re-signed until the end of 2016, just days after established halves pairing Nic White and Matt Toomua committed until the end of 2016 and 2017, respectively.
In further good news, in-form winger Joe Tomane is expected to miss just six weeks with a fractured eye socket, allaying fears his season was over after he clashed heads with teammate Ben Alexander in Saturday's 16-9 win over Durban Sharks at Canberra Stadium.
Wallabies legends George Gregan, Rod Kafer and coach Stephen Larkham provided the creative punch which helped guide the Brumbies to the 2001 and 2004 Super Rugby championships.
And it was a desire to forge another dynasty, plus playing in next year's World Cup, which convinced Lealiifano to reject big money offers from Europe and stay with the Brumbies and ARU.
The Brumbies are set to announce a number of signings in the coming weeks. An announcement on fullback Jesse Mogg is expected within days, while Scott Fardy, Scott Sio and Henry Speight are among those searching for new deals.
"It's a credit to the rugby program here the boys are keen to stay and build combinations, and build their own legacies as well,'' Lealiifano said.
"It's fantastic news to have the nine [White] and ten [Toomua] sign on, hopefully they can take me along for the ride.
"Looking at those achievements [of past Brumbies legends] and what they did is always something you want to achieve, but we have to build our own.
"It's all about us now and trying to build this program to be the best in the world.''
The 26-year-old added a burning desire to go one better than last year's Super Rugby final loss to Waikato Chiefs was another big factor.
"You're always trying to push for the ultimate goal and a Super title is something we haven't won yet,'' Lealiifano said.
"I've got this year and the next couple of years to try and achieve that, and create a legacy for this team before players move on.
"It was a massive factor for me as well as the other goals I have in mind, like playing some more Test footy and staying there.
"The World Cup is something I'd love to be a part of, you want to play as much Test footy as you can.''
Wallabies coach Ewen McKenzie said Lealiifano remained a big part of his plans after he played 13 Tests last year, before an ankle injury ended his European spring tour.
"A strong team culture is the glue for any team and in Christian's case I was personally impressed by the way he dealt with the adversity of injuries during his maiden Test campaign,'' McKenzie said.
"He was one of 12 players to debut for Australia in 2013, and as we move forward it's not unreasonable to expect the core of that group to play a significant role in the future success of our national team.''
The win over the Sharks has the Australian conference leaders ideally poised to launch another title challenge.
They left for a two-game South Africa tour on Sunday, beginning with the Cheetahs early next Sunday morning (AEST).
The loss of Tomane has been offset by the timely return of star winger Speight, who was on the plane after recovering from a broken jaw suffered against NSW in round five.
Clyde Rathbone has also been included in the squad as cover.
"Henry got through some contact work on Friday, he's available for selection,'' Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher said.
"The timing's good, obviously it's bad luck for Joey [Tomane] because he was playing some good footy the last few weeks.
"He's got a fracture but I think it won't require surgery, at this stage it's a potential six week recovery period, or thereabouts.''
Super Rugby round 14: Free State Cheetahs v ACT Brumbies at Free State Stadium, 3.10am
TV: Live on Fox Sports