Leali'ifano eyes 'Tahs comeback
Brumbies midfielder Christian Leali'ifano has targetted his side's March clash with the Waratahs as his injury return date.
The ACT-based side take on Michael Cheika's men on the 15th March in round five of the fast-approaching Super Rugby season.
Leali'ifano made his Australia debut against the British and Irish Lions in June, after a fine run of form with the Brumbies. His Test bow lasted less than a minute, however, the centre sustaining a knockout blow to the head when tackling Jonathan Davies.
Leali'ifano came back strongly to play a further 13 games for the Wallabies, establishing himself as a primary goal-kicking option, before ankle surgery ruled him out of the opening weeks of the Super 15.
"Everything is on track," said Leali'ifano on Thursday, who is due to come out of his "moon-boot" on Monday.
"It's been frustrating, I've been on crutches for a while and I'm itching to get out.
"You think you'd get some kind of warranty on these kind of things," joked Leali'ifano.
"All the nurses [in December] were like: 'Oh you're back again!'"
Leali'ifano conceded his return may be delayed until round seven and the Brumbies' clash with the Rebels, but coach Laurie Fisher remains confident the 'Tahs match is a realistic target.
"That will be the aim," said Fisher. "He's very important in our structures."
Meanwhile, the Brumbies have added experienced duo Clyde Rathbone and Fotu Auelua to their leadership group for the forthcoming Super Rugby season; the pair joining Leali'ifano, Stephen Moore and David Pocock under present skipper Ben Mowen.