Brumbies flyhalf Christian Lealiifano could be off to Japan at the end of 2018, but that doesn’t necessarily spell the end of his Super Rugby days.
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Top League side Toyota Industries Shuttles announced Lealiifano as a 2018-19 squad member overnight.
Though Brumbies officials said Lealiifano was yet to officially sign with the Japanese side, it is a negotiation separate to that of an Australian deal.
Lealiifano is off-contract this season, but could yet ink a flexible contract with the Brumbies, that would allow him to play in Australia and Japan.
The 30-year-old had signed a similar contract at the start of 2016, planning to head to Suntory in the offseasons, before a leukaemia diagnosis prevented him from fulfilling that part of the deal.
Speaking to RUGBY.com.au before the season, Lealiifano said he was open to a move overseas.
“Experiencing rugby in the UK was fantastic, really opened up my eyes a bit,” he said.
“I guess if you asked me 12 months ago, I’d probably say, ‘I’ll just stop here, I absolutely love this place and adore what it’s about’.
“I guess it’s (the overseas stint) something that given me a bit more options now, and a bit more time to sit back and look at different things and experiencing what I’ve experienced with my family, it’s something I really have to consider now.
“But obviously I’ve just got to have those conversations when I need to have them.”