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Tonga’s cancer beater gets his moment at Rugby World Cup

first_imgTrending Articles PLAY LIST 00:50Trending Articles00:50Trending Articles01:35Orphan goes from sniffing ‘Rugby’ glue to playing for Philippines02:11Makabayan bloc defends protesting workers, tells Año to ‘shut up’03:07PH billiards team upbeat about gold medal chances in SEA Games01:38‘Bato’ to be ‘most effective’ CHR head? It’s for public to decide – Gascon02:07Aquino to Filipinos: Stand up vs abuses before you suffer De Lima’s ordeal01:28Ex-President Noynoy Aquino admits contracting pneumonia00:45Aquino agrees with Drilon on SEA games ‘kaldero’ spending issue DTI creates Marahuyo, a luxe Filipino fashion brand for global buyers FILE – In this June 27, 2015, file photo, Waratahs’ Adam Ashley-Cooper, left, tugs on the shirt of Highlanders’ Nasi Manu during their Super Rugby semifinal match in Sydney. The 31-year-old Manu is on the brink of playing his first game at the World Cup, and first since being diagnosed with testicular cancer. He missed all of 2018 and feared for his life, not just his career, while having to undergo emergency surgery and months of chemotherapy. (AP Photo/Rick Rycroft, File)SAPPORO, Japan — There were times not long ago when Nasi Manu was too sick and weak from the chemotherapy to walk up the steps at a stadium and watch a game of rugby. On Sunday, he played in a Rugby World Cup match.Manu got his moment off the bench in Tonga’s opening game of the World Cup against England in Sapporo.ADVERTISEMENT There were more when he lined up and sang Tonga’s national anthem on Sunday.“They were plenty of them, but then I had to calm down,” he said.Tonga coach Toutai Kefu said he’s planning to give Manu a gentle introduction back to international rugby and manage his game time.“We all knew as a group that this was important for him,” Kefu said. “I just had a chat to him and he said he was very tired, he needed more game time, and his lungs were gone.“But I reassured him, I said ‘Mate, you’re lucky to be back out on the field.’ I think that’s the first step.ADVERTISEMENT This jewelry designer is also an architect Canadian vaping study details danger from ‘popcorn lung’ chemical FIFA president: Racism in Italian stadiums ‘very serious’ Ethel Booba on SEA Games cauldron: ‘Sulit kung corrupt ang panggatong’ Matteo Guidicelli had saved up for Sarah G’s ring since 2014? Becoming his own man P11-B loan for SEA Games hosting not an issue — Cayetanocenter_img “But knowing Nasi, he’s a very competitive person and he wants to give 100 percent,” Kefu said. “He’s a good player on and off the field. An important member for us.”Manu said his “legs were gone” and he had to battle it out to play the rest of the 33 minutes he was on the field.“No fitness can prepare you for that. I have achieved my dream of playing in a World Cup whatever happens and I have so many people I can thank for getting me here.“I can’t say names because I am afraid I will miss some out.”Some of the people Manu has already thanked are his teammates at Italian club Benetton Treviso who shaved their heads in support of him when he was undergoing chemotherapy and sent him cellphone videos to keep his spirits up. His club also helped him get treatment. Tonga lost 35-3 but got some inspiration by seeing the loose forward come off the bench to complete his recovery from testicular cancer that saw him undergo emergency surgery, months of chemotherapy and miss all international rugby last year and most of this season. MOST READ LATEST STORIES Duterte calls himself, Go, Cayetano ‘the brightest stars’ in PH politics It was Manu’s first game back for Tonga since his cancer diagnosis and his wife and two-year-old daughter came to Japan to watch him.FEATURED STORIESSPORTSGreatest ever?SPORTSBecoming his own manSPORTSFormer PBA import Anthony Grundy passes away at 40“The whole day has been very difficult for me, just controlling the nerves,” Manu said. “I couldn’t sleep last night, I just got too excited. I was telling my wife that I didn’t know what to do. I packed my bags five times.”Manu shed tears at a welcoming ceremony for the Tongan team at the World Cup last week. He said the tears flowed after he realized how far he’d come from last year, when he was fearing for his life and his rugby career was secondary. Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next View commentslast_img read more

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