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Lealiifano's prestigious sports award nomination

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Lealiifano reacts to nomination for prestigious sports award

Former Wallabies fly-half Christian Lealiifano has said he is “extremely humbled and privileged” to have been shortlisted for the comeback of the year award at the Laureus World Sports Awards. 

The 32-year-old shared a message on Instagram and also wished good luck to the five other “incredible competitors” who have been nominated. 

The former Brumbies No10 is up against Andy Murray from tennis, basketball’s Kawhi Leonard, Liverpool FC, swimming’s Nathan Adrian and racing’s Sophia Florsch. 

Lealiifano capped off a turbulent three years in 2019 by being selected for the Wallabies again for the first time since being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016. 

Not only did the former Ulster fan-favourite guide the Brumbies to Super Rugby’s semi-finals last season, but he featured for his country at the World Cup in Japan at the end of the year. 

While that did mark the end of his international career, as he has now moved to Japan’s Top League to play for Toyota, it was a fitting end to a powerful story in any sport and it has rightfully been recognised across the sporting world. 

Former Brumbies team-mate David Pocock paid tribute to Lealiifano, saying on Instagram he would be a “worthy” winner of the award. 

The flanker, who is also playing in the Top League for the Panasonic Wild Knights, said Lealiifano “is one of the best men I have ever played alongside. 

“The optimism, strength of character and resilience he showed during that fight – and since – is remarkable.” 

The awards ceremony is set to take place on February 17 in Berlin.

WATCH: Jim Hamilton discusses all the news of the week in the latest episode of Don’t Mess With Jim

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Lealiifano reacts to nomination for prestigious sports award
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