Cameron Suafoa back for Auckland Blues after cancer scare

rugby01 May 2024 06:20| Ā© AFP
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Cameron Suafoa Ā© Getty Images

Lock Cameron Suafoa is to return for the Blues on Friday for the first time since finishing radiation treatment for cancer in early April.

The 26-year-old has spent large parts of the current Super Rugby season on the sidelines while he was being treated after a tumour was removed from his back late last year.

He is on the bench for Friday's match at the Melbourne Rebels. He last played in mid-March before announcing a fortnight ago that he was taking a break to focus on his recovery.

"Cam wasn't missing a beat at training," Blues flanker Dalton Papali'i told reporters Wednesday.

"He's shown a lot of resilience and courage coming back into the fold. All the boys are around him and I know Cam is keen to get stuck in."

Suafua has already played this season, despite his cancer scare. He was a fortnight into radiation treatment when he started in the defeat against Super Rugby leaders Hurricanes on March 9.

He made his 20th Super Rugby appearance a week later as a replacement in a win at the Waratahs in Sydney, a day after one of his weekly radiation treatments.

Suafoa was first diagnosed last year and posted a video to social media platform X in April to say he was stepping back from playing because of fatigue from his treatment.

"You talk about tough bastards in sport ā€“ but seeing what Cam's gone through shows true courage," Papali'i added. "I look up to him."

The Blues are second in the Super Rugby table a point behind leaders the Hurricanes, who they face in Auckland on May 11.