Lealiifano back in the fold

Christian Lealiifano will return to the UC Brumbies match-day 23 this Friday night against the Rebels after coming through 60 minutes unscathed with the Tuggeranong Vikings last Saturday in Canberra.

Upon his return from the Wallabies Spring Tour, Lealiifano went back into surgery in December to mend several persisting problems pertaining to the previous ankle surgery he had in 2012.

Early indications suggest those issues have now been rectified, with Head Coach Stephen Larkham confirming his star playmaker would be there-or-abouts on Friday.

“There are going to be a few selection headaches over the next month or so, particularly in the backs. It’s great to have so much depth to choose from and has really heightened the competition at training,” Larkham said.

“Those headaches start this week with Christian coming back into the fold. Without giving too much away, he’ll be in the 23, but we’ll just have to see how things go today and tomorrow to see where he might end up.”

The outside backs will also be a hotly contested area, with Tevita Kuridrani and Andrew Smith set to battle it out for the No. 13 jersey.

“Andrew has been one of our more consistent players during his four years at the Brumbies. He consistently plays at a higher level than a lot of other outside backs and we are always safe playing him out there,” Larkham said.

“Tevita is also a great option for us at outside centre, he got plenty of experience last year playing for the Wallabies. Whoever ends up playing outside centre will do a job for us, the combinations in that position are strong.”

The UC Brumbies arrive in Melbourne on Thursday with Captain’s Run acheduled for Thursday evening at AAMI Park.