A number of Australian rugby players have shaved their heads ahead of their Bledisloe Cup clash with New Zealand, in support of their team mate Christian Lealiifano, who was diagnosed with leukaemia earlier this month, writes Gavin Spillane.
David Pocock, Will Genia, Matt Giteau and Matt Toomua are among those who will sport bare heads in the Rugby Championship opener against the All Blacks on Saturday.
Lealiifano has been a standout performer for the ACT Brumbies in recent Super Rugby seasons, with 117 games and has played 19 test matches for Australia and was one of the stars from the Lions test series in 2013.
NEWS: It is with great sadness that we inform fans that Christian Lealiifano has been diagnosed with Leukaemia. pic.twitter.com/pkr9Fuf2Dk— Plus500 Brumbies (@BrumbiesRugby) August 6, 2016
Really tough 24 hours trying to come to terms with news about Christian. One of the most respected and loved players I've played alongside.— David Pocock (@pocockdavid) August 6, 2016
Genia, who will play his first game of rugby since knee surgery in January said that the 23 year-old would be in the back of their minds as he undergoes treatment in Canberra.
"He's one of us, one of the boys so he's always in our thoughts and our prayers," said Genia on the Australian Rugby Union website.
"He's a good bloke so the guys will definitely have him in their thoughts when we get out there on Saturday."