Christian Lealiifano to leave Brumbies for Japan
By Joe Shread
Last Updated: 17/06/19 7:30am
Christian Lealiifano will leave the Brumbies at the end of the 2019 season to move to Japan.
It is not yet clear which Japanese side Lealiifano will move to, but his departure will bring to an end his 12-year spell with the Canberra-based team.
The 31-year-old, who was diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016 but returned to rugby a year later, told the Brumbies' website: "This was a difficult decision for me and I would like to thank the Brumbies for their support throughout my time at the club.
"The support that the Canberra public gave me and my family through a difficult time in my life will never be forgotten.
"I believe this club has a bright future under Dan (McKellar) and his coaching staff and look forward to following that progress."
Lealiifano has 19 Test caps for Australia but, while his exit from Super Rugby will bring an end to his time with the national team, he could still be included in Michael Cheika's squad for the 2019 World Cup.
The fly-half has not played for the Wallabies in three years, but has played a big role in the Brumbies' resurgence this season.
Brumbies won the Australian conference and will play a home quarter-final against South Africa's Sharks on Saturday.
Lealiifano, who previously played in Japan's Top League with Suntory and had a spell with Ulster last year, is the third high-profile player to announce his departure from the Brumbies in recent weeks.
David Pocock is also moving to Japan after the World Cup later this year, while Henry Speight has agreed a move to the Queensland Reds.