Brumbies Christian Lealiifano has signed for one more season after the club announced the flyhalf’s contract extension this morning (27 July).
Lealiifano, who has played 133 games for the Brumbies and is second on the all-time points scoring list with a mammoth total of 845 points, signed the deal prior to heading to Japan for a stint with Toyota Shokki in the Japanese Top League.
Lealiifano said a big factor in his decision to re-sign was the excitement he felt about the future of the club.
“I love the fact that there is young talent coming through and being able to lead the side was special for me,” Lealiifano said. “Hopefully, I can still add something to the future of the club.
“It’s always an honour to able to lead the Brumbies. There have been some fantastic leaders here in the past and for me, that role has always been about mentoring guys and making sure that, like when I was a kid coming through, there’s someone to help and to make it easier for them to cope with the step up to Super Rugby.”
The 30-year-old playmaker was off-contract at the end of the season but has agreed to play another season with the ACT-based club, which is a major boost for the Brumbies’ hopes of returning to Super Rugby finals next season.
The flyhalf said a Super Rugby title was something that he was still chasing at this late stage of his career.
“A super Rugby title is something which always drives you and motivates you each day and it’s something I’ve been chasing for a while now and that I got close to in 2013,” he said.
“That’s the end goal but it’s also about making sure the Brumbies is in a better place for the future as well.”
Lealiifano made his Super Rugby debut for the club back in 2008 against the Crusaders in Christchurch and has also been capped nineteen times by the Wallabies, making his test bow during the British and Irish Lions Tour in 2013.
Since then, he has pulled the strings from flyhalf for his club and become a firm crowd favourite with the Brumbies and Australian faithful, recovering from leukaemia to reclaim his place in the Brumbies starting XV.
Brumbies head coach Dan McKellar said his inspirational co-captain brings leadership and experience to the team.
“His performances have really developed and improved over the course of the season,” McKellar said. “He’s a vital part of the team and it’s nice to have him signed for another season.”
“He has got a great understanding of how we want to play the game and where our game is headed, particularly how we are developing our attacking game. It’s always nice to have that stability, and we have that in Christian wearing that number ten jersey again next season.”
You can sign up for the Brumbies 2019 season, just like Christian, when Brumbies Memberships go on sale on Wednesday 15 August. For membership enquiries, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.