Excitement about the Brumbies future was the big factor in convincing co-captain Christian Lealiifiano to sign a new one-year deal with the Super Rugby club.
The 30-year-old playmaker ended speculation about his future by committing himself to the Brumbies – for who has played all of his 133 Super Rugby games – for the 2019 campaign.
In his first full season back for the Brumbies after being diagnosed with leukaemia in 2016, Lealiifano played in 14 matches and logged more than 900 playing minutes.
He returned rejuvenated after a two-match mid-season break and played his best rugby since his comeback.
Lealiifano was part of a Brumbies side that ended the season well by winning four of their last five matches but finished 10th and missed out on the finals by a couple of points.
New Zealand-born Lealiifano, who has won 19 Wallabies caps, made his Brumbies Super Rugby debut in 2008.
Second on the Brumbies all-time points scoring list with 845, Leallifano agreed to the new deal prior to leaving for a stint with Japanese Top League side Toyota Shokki.
“The biggest factor was just probably the excitement that I have for the future of the club,” Lealiifano said
“I love the young talent coming through and being able to lead the side as well was really special for me.
“Having a break halfway through there was nice as well, so I’m excited about the future and what it holds and hopefully I can still add value.”
He said the Brumbies late season charge was sparked by a mindset of not fearing failure.
Lealiifano is motivated by a desire to win a Super Rugby title, having gone close in 2013 when the Brumbies lost in the final.
“The group that is being put together now is something that’s really, really special and something that excites me as the older head now, looking at the young guys come through,” he said.
“It’s something that I really want to be a part of so a Super Rugby title is obviously the angle.
“It’s just about now trying to make sure that the Brumbies are in a better place as well for when it’s my time to finish up.”