‘I wish my dad could see this’: Emotional reason Lealiifano chose Moana Pasifika over Brumbies return




Christian Lealiifano has revealed he was in talks a few Tremendous Rugby return to the Brumbies when he was approached to steer the brand new Moana Pasifika franchise in 2022.

Lealiifano informed stuff.co.nz on Thursday that Moana Pasifika director of rugby Kevin Senio satisfied the Auckland-born former Wallabies rep to knock again the the Canberra membership to signify his Samoan heritage within the new staff.

The strategy clearly appealed to Lealiifano on an emotional stage and he mentioned he considered his mother and father and grandparents, notably his late father who handed away in 2006, earlier than he broke into the professional ranks.

“I believe, to have the ability to signify those who acquired me to the place I’m now could be going to be fairly particular,” Lealiifano informed Stuff on Thursday.

“I want my dad was nonetheless dwelling right this moment to see this staff. He’d be throughout it. I’m certain he’d be actually proud that I’m going to be concerned with one thing that’s going to have a variety of that means and goal.

“He at all times wished me to chase my soccer dream. Sadly, he handed away a few years earlier than my debut for the Brumbies. I carry him with me. He’s with me each day.”

Lealiifano, 34, was confirmed as Moana Pasifika’s first signing with a one-year cope with an choice for a second yr.

He performed 26 Assessments for the Wallabies and has been in Japan after 12 seasons and 150 appearances for the Brumbies.

“I’m not as ripped as Quade [Cooper], he’s in fairly good condition that fella,” Lealiifano joked.

“However the physique’s holding up OK. Japan was good, to have the ability to play that quick fashion of footy, and never as bodily, though it’s getting that manner now.”

He was additionally requested about Wallabies coach Dave Rennie’s latest backing of older gamers to return so as to add expertise to the Wallabies.

“If you happen to’re ok and also you’re taking part in nicely sufficient, I suppose I wouldn’t flip it down, nevertheless it’s not a precedence,” he mentioned.

“If Dave Rennie’s proud of what he’s seeing you by no means know. Clearly it’s optimistic when he’s selecting Quade and Samu [Kerevi] and another guys from Europe.

“He’s clearly trying round at another expertise, and also you wouldn’t say no. To signify your nation is at all times an enormous feat.”



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