Australian players shave their heads in solidarity with a team-mate diagnosed with leukemia

Christian Lealiifano was diagnosed with the disease earlier this month

Australian players shave their heads in solidarity with a team-mate diagnosed with leukemia

Picture by: Joe Giddens / PA Archive/Press Association Images

Australia get their Rugby Championship campaign underway this weekend against New Zealand, but one player who wont be there is Christian Lealiifano.

The 28-year-old Brumbies star was diagnosed with leukemia earlier this month. Capped 19 times by Australia, Lealiifano's career has understandably halted as he undergoes treatment.

In one of their final training sessions before the Sydney Test Match, some of the Australian players shaved their heads on solidarity with Lealiifano. Matt Giteau and David Pocock were among a group of players to turn up at training with a bald head.

Scrum-half Will Genia also shaved his head. He told Wallabies' official website that the players had the 28-year-old in their minds ahead of the game against the World champions.

"He's one of us, one of the boys so he's always in our thoughts and our prayers," Genia revealed. "He's a good bloke so the guys will definitely have him in their thoughts when we get out there on Saturday."

It's a simple, yet effective gesture from Australia's players. Hopefully Lealiifano will be given strength by his team mates this weekend.