Canberra - Wallaby star Christian Lealiifano said on Friday he
may never play rugby again as he faces a crucial bone marrow transplant in his
fight against leukaemia.
Lealiifano, who has played 19 Tests, was diagnosed with the
cancer that affects the blood and bone-marrow in August and is preparing for a
transplant after a successful match with his sister.
The Brumbies back has undergone several rounds of
chemotherapy in preparation for the life-saving operation.
"Luckily enough for me my younger sister is a
match," he revealed to the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.
"For the family, that is quite a special thing and for
your sister to give you the gift of trying to save your life, it's quite
Lealiifano, 29, said he has accepted that he may never play
again even if he fully recovers from the debilitating illness.
"I hope one day to be able to run out there on the
field, whether that be club footy," he said. "If not, I'm happy to
accept that as well."
The New Zealand-born star said the next period of his
treatment would be a daily battle.
"I've had two treatments of chemotherapy which have
pretty much put me in remission going into this transplant," he said.
"Both bouts I got infections ... because you've got no immune
But looking ahead to his operation, he added: "I'm
young, pretty fit and I've got a suitable match.
"One thing they can't guarantee is that everyone will
be cured, but it gives you every chance of beating it."
The Brumbies have already told him he could join the club
coaching staff next year if the illness puts his playing career on hold.