Nasi Manu earns international call-up after cancer battle

Tom Dean
08 July 2019

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Benetton’s cancer survivor Nasi Manu has been called up to the Tonga squad for the upcoming Pacific Nations Cup.

The No.8 was diagnosed with testicular cancer at the end of last year forcing him to miss the entire Guinness PRO14 season but after successful chemotherapy treatment, he is in line to make a miraculous return to rugby.

Manu lifted the Super Rugby trophy with the Highlanders before making his move to the Guinness PRO14 with Edinburgh back in 2015.

After two years in Scotland, the forward moved to Treviso but has found his playing time limited due to his recent illness.

During his rehabilitation Manu earmarked a place at the upcoming Rugby World Cup as his ultimate goal for the future and will take the first steps towards achieving that at the Pacific Nations Cup.

Tonga’s first game of the competition will be against Samoa on July 27 and if Manu features it will mark his first international cap since facing reigning champions Fiji in 2018.

“Going through cancer and chemo has been a great sort of awakening for what I really want and my rugby goals, my life goals. I sort of narrowed down what’s important to me,” he said.

“It’s always been a dream to compete on the world stage, to play in a World Cup.

“The dream is still alive to maybe achieve that this year.”

Manu is joined in the 31-man squad by Glasgow Warriors’ prop Siua Halanukonuka.

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