Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 29 July 2014

Lealiifano calls on Test experience

Christian Lealiifano says he learned valuable lessons on international duty

Australia inside-centre Christian Lealiifano will draw on lessons learned against the British and Irish Lions when the Brumbies host the Cheetahs in Sunday's Super 15 qualifier at Canberra Stadium.

The unflappable 25-year-old proved he belongs on the international stage after making his long-awaited Wallabies debut last month.

After being knocked out cold 40 seconds into the first Test in Brisbane, Lealiifano bounced back to play a starring role in Melbourne the following week, kicking four from four with the boot including the winning conversion from the sideline.

"Playing at Test level really helped me just with piece of mind, knowing that I can cope at that kind of level, so it definitely gives me a little bit of help going into finals footy on Sunday," Lealiifano said.

"It was very exciting to be a part of the whole thing and coming back (to the Brumbies) now I'm just trying to bring a bit of that experience and knowledge back."

Lealiifano and the Brumbies suffered a major reality check last week, going down 21-15 to the Western Force in Perth.

However, the Brumbies have only lost back-to-back games twice in two seasons under Jake White and Lealiifano believes the side will respond well against the dangerous Cheetahs at Canberra Stadium.

"This group definitely bounces back from a loss so we're looking to do that on Sunday and play some good footy," he said.

"We're not satisfied with how we are at the moment and hopefully we can bounce back.

"We're hoping that everything just clicks for us. We've worked too hard for it not to.

"We're obviously very disappointed about last Saturday but we're just going to put everything in towards Sunday and hopefully everything does pay off for us."

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