Sick Lealiifano could turn to coaching

Date published: September 5 2016

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Christian Lealiifano has been offered a role on the Brumbies coaching staff for next season if the leukaemia he has been diagnosed with brings a halt to his playing career.

The 28-year-old Australian centre was released from a Canberra hospital last week but there are reports saying he might have to undergo a bone-marrow transplant.

The future of Lealiifano's playing career is unclear at this stage but he is unable to play rugby next year the Brumbies said they would offer him a coaching job as a potential backline mentor.

"If Christian can't play we'd certainly love him to do a bit of the coaching stuff and potentially with the back line," Brumbies coach Stephen Larkham told the Canberra Times newspaper over the weekend.

"He's got some long-term plans to go into coaching so we may dabble with that. But we have to wait and see what happens and how he recovers. I think it would be great to have him around the team in some sort of capacity. But that will depend on how Christian feels more than anything else."

Larkham said he had regularly visited Lealiifano since he was diagnosed with the cancer that affects the blood and bone-marrow.

Reports said Lealiifano had finished an initial round of chemotherapy and was allowed to spend time at home with his family and friends in the past week. The next stage of treatment could include a bone-marrow transplant and a suitable donor has been identified.

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