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Lealiifano upbeat after surgery


Chris Dutton

Injured Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano is stretchered into the first aid room as he sings the club song with his ...

Injured Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano is stretchered into the first aid room as he sings the club song with his teammates last week. Photo: Graham Tidy

A DEVASTATED Christian Lealiifano will draw inspiration from NSW Waratah Drew Mitchell's recovery from a broken ankle as he begins the painstaking six-month journey to get back on the field.

Lealiifano had surgery on his broken and dislocated ankle last week after his season came to an abrupt halt in the ACT Brumbies' win over the Waratahs at Canberra Stadium.

It came at the worst possible time for the talented playmaker with most predicting him to get a Wallabies call up next month.

But after being inundated by messages of support from players who had suffered similar injuries, Lealiifano was upbeat about his recovery.

Mitchell dislocated his ankle last year but made a miraculous return to play for the Wallabies at the World Cup.

He was one of several who spoke to Lealiifano with Colin Slade and Jono Lance also helping the 24-year-old come to grips with his injury.

Lealiifano is also using mentor Julian Huxley's recovery from a brain tumour to help him through the toughest time of his career.

''It's a freak thing that has happened and I believe these types of things happen for a reason,'' Lealiifano said.

''Hux came back from something far more serious than I've got and there are so much worse things in life than what I'm going through.

''Drew came to me when I was on the happy gas and just said that it's a long way back but he knew I would come back better and stronger from it.

''He's walking proof that you can get back and seeing guys being able to overcome it gives me a good outlook.''

Lealiifano is couch-bound for the next week until he gets his stitches out.

He will then have six weeks on crutches before slowly beginning his recovery.

Lealiifano's horror injury happened when his foot got caught under teammate Andrew Smith in the last minute of the clash with the Waratahs.

He still winces every time he sees the replay and describes it as ''yuk''.

In a sign of Lealiifano's popularity, the team then crowded around his stretcher in the medical room to sing the Brumbies' song after their victory.

He was in career best form and a key to the team's impressive resurgence. After spending the first period of his career playing behind Stephen Larkham and Matt Giteau, Lealiifano emerged as a key part of the back line.

The Brumbies went on an international search to find a replacement with Matt Toomua also out for the rest of the season.

Wallabies great Larkham was floated as a possible option and while Lealiifano was confident the backs coach would ''kill it'' if he made a comeback, he backed Zack Holmes and Robbie Coleman to step up at flyhalf.

The Brumbies have also recruited former Waratah Peter Hewat to add experience to their back line.

Lealiifano is targeting a return to the field for pre-season training.

''I'm loving the feel of the Brumbies at the moment and I just want to be a part of it,'' Lealiifano said. ''If I can come back for pre-season … I will be happy.''

HuffPost Australia

Rugby World Cup 2015

Round 1
Sat, 19 SepTimes shown AEST
ENG 35vs FJI 11 Report Stats
TGA 10vs GEO 17 Report Stats
IRE 50vs CAN 7 Report Stats
Sun, 20 SepTimes shown AEST
SAF 32vs JPN 34 Report Stats
FRA 32vs ITA 10 Report Stats
SAM 25vs USA 16 Report Stats
WAL 54vs URU 9 Report Stats
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NZL 26vs ARG 16 Report Stats
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SCO 45vs JPN 10 Report Stats
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FRA 38vs ROM 11 Report Stats
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NZL 58vs NAM 14 Report Stats
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ARG 54vs GEO 9 Report Stats
ITA 23vs CAN 18 Report Stats
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SAF 46vs SAM 6 Report Stats
ENG 25vs WAL 28 Report Stats
AUS 65vs URU 3 Report Stats
SCO 39vs USA 16 Report Stats
Mon, 28 SepTimes shown AEST
IRE 44vs ROM 10 Report Stats
Wed, 30 SepTimes shown AEST
TGA 35vs NAM 21 Report Stats
Fri, 02 OctTimes shown AEST
WAL 23vs FJI 13 Report Stats
FRA 41vs CAN 18 Report Stats
Sat, 03 OctTimes shown AEST
NZL 43vs GEO 10 Report Stats
SAM 5vs JPN 26 Report Stats
Sun, 04 OctTimes shown AEST
SAF 34vs SCO 16 Report Stats
ENG 13vs AUS 33 Report Stats
Mon, 05 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 45vs TGA 16 Report Stats
IRE 16vs ITA 9 Report Stats
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CAN 15vs ROM 17 Report Stats
FJI 47vs URU 15 Report Stats
Thu, 08 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 64vs USA 0 Report Stats
NAM 16vs GEO 17 Stats
Sat, 10 OctTimes shown AEDT
NZL 47vs TGA 9 Report Stats
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SAM 33vs SCO 36 Report Stats
AUS 15vs WAL 6 Report Stats
ENG 60vs URU 3 Stats
ARG 64vs NAM 19 Report Stats
Mon, 12 OctTimes shown AEDT
ITA 32vs ROM 22 Report Stats
FRA 9vs IRE 24 Report Stats
USA 18vs JPN 28 Report Stats
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Round 2
Sun, 18 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 23vs WAL 19 Stats
NZL 62vs FRA 13 Report Stats
IRE 20vs ARG 43 Report Stats
Mon, 19 OctTimes shown AEDT
AUS 35vs SCO 34 Stats
Sun, 25 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 18vs NZL 20 Stats
Mon, 26 OctTimes shown AEDT
ARG 15vs AUS 29 Stats
Sat, 31 OctTimes shown AEDT
SAF 24vs ARG 13 Stats
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NZL 34vs AUS 17 Stats
View All Fixtures
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Australia 4 4 0 0 106 17
Wales 4 3 1 0 49 13
England 4 2 2 0 58 11
Fiji 4 1 3 0 -17 5
Uruguay 4 0 4 0 -196 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
South Africa 4 3 1 0 120 16
Scotland 4 3 1 0 43 14
Japan 4 3 1 0 -2 12
Samoa 4 1 3 0 -55 6
USA 4 0 4 0 -106 0
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Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
New Zealand 4 4 0 0 125 19
Argentina 4 3 1 0 109 15
Georgia 4 2 2 0 -70 8
Tonga 4 1 3 0 -60 6
Namibia 4 0 4 0 -104 1
View all
Rugby World Cup 2015
Team P W L D +/- Pts
Ireland 4 4 0 0 99 18
France 4 3 1 0 57 14
Italy 4 2 2 0 -14 10
Romania 4 1 3 0 -69 4
Canada 4 0 4 0 -73 2
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