Christian Lealiifano is still making his mark at the Brumbies, using his downtime from playing in Japan to help out young playmaker Noah Lolesio.
The former Wallabies No.10 handed the reins over to the 20-year-old this year when he shifted his career overseas, but has been helping the Brumbies prepare for the Super Rugby AU competition’s start next month.
The 32-year-old has been making up the numbers at training and also acting as an extra coach for Lolesio, who has been lapping it up.
“After today’s session I went up to him and asked him what he thought and he gave some really wise advice,” Lolesio said.
“He’s always been a role model for me so it’s awesome that he can be here.”
Lolesio joked he thought he would have to hand over the No.10 duties to Lealiifano when he first turned up in Canberra again, but said the former captain was happy to let the youngster run the show.
Lolesio said Lealiifano had kept in regular touch before the Super Rugby shutdown in March after seven rounds, offering him support and advice.
Ahead of their opening match against Melbourne Rebels on July 4 in Canberra, Lealiifano was again a source of knowledge for the Junior Wallaby.
“It means a lot heading into round one,” he said.
“Just a wise head – his game management – it really helps.”
Lolesio said he couldn’t wait to get started in the new competition after such a long training stretch.
He had been focusing on his passing and kicking game, particularly with the new 50:22- 22:50 rule being introduced.
“It’s a huge momentum shift if you can get a 50:22 or 22:50 for the team,” he said.
“It creates running rugby because defensively you’re going to be more worried about those areas of the field so that gives us an opportunity to run.
“It should speed up the game so I’m looking forward to it.”
– Melissa Woods
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