New dad Lealiifano waits on Wallabies

Date published: June 7 2016

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The wait is finally over for new dad Christian Lealiifano after the Wallabies centre welcomed the birth of his first child in Canberra.

But it remains to be seen whether time has also run out for Lealiifano's hopes of playing Saturday's three-Test series opener against England in Brisbane.

Brumbies co-captain Lealiifano was considered no chance of a Wallabies call-up after again being a no-show at training in Brisbane on Tuesday.

He has not been sighted at the Wallabies, even missing last week's entire camp at the Sunshine Coast after opting to be by his partner Luga's side for the arrival of their first child.

After 10 days of waiting for the birth, Lealiifano has little time to savour his son's arrival.

It remains to be seen if Lealiifano is rushed into the Wallabies squad on Wednesday in a bid to give him a shot at Saturday's Suncorp Stadium Test.

He will only get two full training sessions with the Wallabies if he arrives by Wednesday – and of course is picked by coach Michael Cheika.

The Wallabies team is named on Thursday.

The Wallabies indicated to AAP last week that if Lealiifano wasn't in Brisbane for the first part of this week, the team would press on with plans for the first Test without him.

"It's pretty simple – you plan for him to be there and you plan for him not to be there and you prepare both ways," Cheika said of Lealiifano.

Lealiifano had been considered the favourite to slot into inside centre but his unavailability over the past 10 days has ensured plenty of speculation.

Code hoppers Israel Folau and Karmichael Hunt plus Reece Hodge are others who can wear the number 12 jersey with World Cup choice Matt Giteau absent and Kurtley Beale injured.

But Cheika is believed to be considering teaming up Samu Kerevi with incumbent number 13 Tevita Kuridrani in a big-bodied centre combination that would blunt an anticipated England debut by former NRL star Ben Te'o.

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