Cancer survivor Christian Lealiifano has been picked in the Wallabies squad for the first time since 2016 for World Cup audition, while the coach Michael Cheika has excluded Quade Cooper and several other big players.
Cheika said, “I’m not the expert to speak on what Christian has been through, only he knows that and his family. What you can’t deny is his form in Super Rugby at the end of the day.”
The coach added, “If you take out all the other things that he’s achieved, he’s been playing good in Super Rugby and deserves to be there.”
The 34-man Wallabies quad has been named for the first Rugby Championship Test against South Africa on July 21 in Johannesburg.
In 2016, Lealiifano was diagnosed with leukemia. After complaining of constant fatigue, which was initially believed to be due to the sleeping habits of his then two-month-old son, Jeremih, the star rugby player had a blood test, which revealed that he had leukemia. He underwent chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant from a sister. Lealiifano, 31, is now in remission and has been clear of any signs of leukemia for two years.