Suafoa back for Auckland Blues after cancer scare

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 — 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. — SuperSport.

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