Cancer survivor Suafoa back for Blues-Hurricanes showdown

rugby07 May 2024 04:35| © AFP
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Cameron Suafoa © Getty Images

Blues forward Cameron Suafoa is in contention to play in Saturday's top-of-the-table Super Rugby showdown against Hurricanes after beating cancer.

The 26-year-old received the all-clear recently having undergone weeks of radiation treatment after an egg-sized tumour was removed from his back last year.

He came off the bench in Friday's 38-11 win at Melbourne Rebels for his first appearance after taking a break to help his recovery.

"Physically, I feel good," Suafoa told reporters.

"Out on the field it was a bit of a shock to the body. You forget how fast rugby can be.

"The thing going through my head was I didn't want to miss a tackle or make a mistake."

Suafoa, who can play as a loose forward or lock, could feature in Saturday's home clash at Eden Park against Hurricanes, who top the Super Rugby table by a single point from the second-placed Blues.

He played two Super Rugby games in March while undergoing radiation therapy, which he said was a welcome distraction from the treatment.

He admitted to being scared when first diagnosed.

"I didn't really know how to deal with it. There were a lot of emotions and it was definitely a shock," said Suafoa, who did not know whether he would be able to carry on playing rugby.

"Definitely early on, when I got the phone call and they told me that I would need surgery, all that races through your mind," he added.

The turning point was when his surgeon told him playing rugby was a possibility after the tumour was removed. "That was a huge positive for me."

Having initially kept playing and training during his radiation treatment, he finally took a break under advice from his girlfriend after fatigue set in.

"I just wanted to be treated normal," he said. "It was the right thing to do at the start, but my partner wasn't too happy that I kept going to training."