The 2022 Super Rugby season has in many ways already been historic. In no small part due to the addition of the two Pacific Islands teams Fijian Drua and Moana Pasifika.
Since its inception Super Rugby has benefitted immensely from the creativity and flair that the Pacific Island players have brought to the competition.
As a breeding ground for Pacific Island talent for well over twenty years, the calls for the introduction of Island based sides was for too long ignored.
As one would expect the announcement of the two sides inception into the competition was by and large greeted with immense positivity. Whilst the results on the field of play have been up and down to say the least, both sides have certainly brought a new element to the competition.
One player in particular who has been a mainstay of Super Rugby for the past fifteen years has been Christian Leali’ifano. The former Brumbies stalwart has been integral in helping the Moana Pasifika squad navigate their first season.
It was only fitting that he would hit the incredible milestone of 1000 Super Rugby points over the past weekend.
— Super Rugby Pacific (@SuperRugby) May 7, 2022
From a purely rugby standpoint this is an incredible achievement. Away from the field of play Leali’ifano’s story is even more incredible. Having been diagnosed with Leukaemia in 2016, just two weeks after the Brumbies were eliminated from Super Rugby. It appeared that not only was his career in jeopardy but also his life.
What followed was nothing short of miraculous as he underwent a bone marrow transplant before returning to the pitch in 2017 in a loan spell with Irish side Ulster where he became an instant fan favourite.
Congratulations Christian! A true Rugby inspiration.