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Former ACT Brumbies forward Ita Vaea eyes rugby comeback

Former Brumby Ita Vaea is hpoing to make a rugby comeback after being cleared of blood clots.

Former Brumby Ita Vaea is hpoing to make a rugby comeback after being cleared of blood clots. Photo: Rohan Thomson

It is the news former ACT Brumbies forward Ita Vaea has been waiting 20 months to hear – the 25-year-old has been medically cleared of life-threatening blood clots to begin a rugby comeback.

While Brumbies director of rugby Laurie Fisher has cautioned against an immediate return to the field this season, Vaea has told teammates he would resume training next week and was aiming to play for the Gungahlin Eagles in the John I Dent Cup competition within a month.

Vaea has been sidelined since October 2012, when doctors discovered blood clots in his calf, which stemmed from a life-threatening heart condition. On blood-thinning medication and restricted from doing any heavy training, Vaea received a medical clearance from heart specialists this week.

Although he is no longer contracted to the Brumbies, the Super Rugby franchise has supported Vaea in his recovery. The Tongan No.8 will be invited to train with the Brumbies outside his work hours and, depending on his progress, also train with Canberra's National Rugby Championship squad.

Vaea was an onlooker at Gungahlin training with Brumbies winger Henry Speight on Thursday night and will begin training with the Eagles on Tuesday.

Gungahlin coach and former Wallabies forward Owen Finegan said it was only early days, but a Super Rugby return wasn't out of the question if Vaea could maintain his health.

"Why not? He's definitely a player who makes an impact out on the field, he's very physical and powerful, much like [Brumbies forward] Fotu Auelua,'' Finegan said. "He's had a taste of it before, he knows what it takes. He's going to get stuck into training from next week, do two or three weeks of training, see how he goes, then try to have his first game [of club rugby]."

Vaea, now working as a labourer, was once considered one of the Brumbies' brightest prospects. Fisher was elated for Vaea, but curbed expectations of a comeback. 

"It's fantastic news for him, he's a wonderful guy and a very good footballer," Fisher said. "He was a very important part of our squad, but just to be able to wake up each day knowing you're reasonably healthy is fantastic for him.

"It'll be a slow, six-month build-up, I wouldn't expect him to be playing any rugby in 2014. Hopefully he'll just be graduating training with a view to seeing where he's positioned to resume playing rugby next year, then we can make an assessment from there.

"To get him back into the training environment will be a tremendous lift psychologically for him."

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG -1vs FJI -1 05:00Twic
TGA 0vs GEO 0 21:00Kholm
IRE 0vs CAN 0 23:30MilS
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs JPN 0 01:45Brig
FRA 0vs ITA 0 05:00Twic
SAM 0vs USA 0 21:00Brig
WAL 0vs URU 0 23:30MilS
Mon, 21 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs ARG 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 23 SepTimes shown AEST
SCO 0vs JPN 0 23:30Kholm
Thu, 24 SepTimes shown AEST
AUS 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs ROM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Fri, 25 SepTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs NAM 0 05:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sat, 26 SepTimes shown AEST
ARG 0vs GEO 0 01:45Kholm
ITA 0vs CAN 0 23:30Ella
Sun, 27 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SAM 0 01:45Villa
ENG 0vs WAL 0 05:00Twic
AUS 0vs URU 0 21:00Villa
SCO 0vs USA 0 23:30Ella
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 0vs ROM 0 01:45Wemb
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 0vs NAM 0 01:45Sand
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 0vs FJI 0 01:45MilS
FRA 0vs CAN 0 05:00stadium:mk
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 0vs GEO 0 05:00MilS
SAM 0vs JPN 0 23:30stadium:mk
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 0vs SCO 0 01:45St James' Park
ENG 0vs AUS 0 06:00Twic
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 0vs TGA 0 00:30KPS
IRE 0vs ITA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Wed, 07 OctTimes shown AEDT
CAN 0vs ROM 0 02:45KPS
FJI 0vs URU 0 06:00stadium:mk
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 0vs USA 0 02:45The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
NAM 0vs GEO 0 06:00Sand
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 0vs TGA 0 06:00St James' Park
Sun, 11 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAM 0vs SCO 0 00:30St James' Park
AUS 0vs WAL 0 02:45Twic
ENG 0vs URU 0 06:00Manch
ARG 0vs NAM 0 22:00KPS
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 0vs ROM 0 00:30Sand
FRA 0vs IRE 0 02:45MilS
USA 0vs JPN 0 06:00Kholm
View All Fixtures
Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinB 0vs RUpA 0 02:00Twic
WinC 0vs RUpD 0 06:00MilS
WinD 0vs RUpC 0 23:00MilS
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
WinA 0vs RUpB 0 02:00Twic
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF1 0vs WQF2 0 02:00Twic
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
WQF3 0vs WQF4 0 03:00Twic
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
LSF1 0vs LSF2 0 07:00The Stadium, Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park
Sun, 01 NovTimes shown AEDT
WSF1 0vs WSF2 0 03:00Twic
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
France 0 0 0 0 0 0
New Zealand 0 0 0 0 0 0
Canada 0 0 0 0 0 0
Tonga 0 0 0 0 0 0
Japan 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Romania 0 0 0 0 0 0
Argentina 0 0 0 0 0 0
England 0 0 0 0 0 0
Georgia 0 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 0 0 0 0 0 0
USA 0 0 0 0 0 0
Italy 0 0 0 0 0 0
Ireland 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Overall standings
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Fiji 0 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Namibia 0 0 0 0 0 0
South Africa 0 0 0 0 0 0
Wales 0 0 0 0 0 0
View all
 

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