Former Highlanders captain and number eight Nasi Manu is about to begin a cycle of chemotherapy for urological cancer, after having one of his testicles removed.
The 30-year-old, who plays for Italian club Benetton, had an operation at a Treviso hospital in August to remove an abnormal growth, but now requires the chemotherapy sessions.
He took to Twitter to thank everyone for the messages of support, and remind people to "Get their balls checked", but then later revealed on his Instagram page, that he had to have one of his testicles removed.
"Didn't realise my tweet was going to be the quote for the news the record… never thought in my life I'd ever be the one to get cancer.
"It has been a tough time. To be honest, it's been more of a mental battle than a physical one so far.
"I had my left testicle removed, the wound was sore and took a little bit to fully recover, but the battle to keep my mind from fearing the worst was the toughest challenge of it all.
"Given all the results of my tests post operation. I am very lucky for the type of cancer it was and that it has not spread.
"Although my blood markers are not low enough, everything else is looking positive. I’ll be undergoing chemo and I hope to be back playing soon.
"Thanks Benetton the medical team, Ospedale di Treviso urology department, my teammates, family and friends for the support."
The loose forward spent five years with the Highlanders, leading them to their maiden Super Rugby title in 2015.
As well as Benetton and the Highlanders, Manu has enjoyed playing stints with Canterbury, the Crusaders and Edinburgh.
He also made his international debut for Tonga earlier in the year, during the Pacific Nations Cup.