Ben Smith Tonga’s cancer beater Nasi Manu gets his moment at Rugby World Cup

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Ben Smith Tonga's Nasi Manu charges the ball up on his World Cup debut against England after surviving testicular cancer.

MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES

Tonga’s Nasi Manu charges the ball up on his World Cup debut against England after surviving testicular cancer.

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.

Tonga lost 35-3 but got some inspiration by seeing the New Zealand-born 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.

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.

Ben Smith New Zealand-born forward Nasi Manu is tackled by the English defence during Tonga's 35-3 defeat.

MARK KOLBE/GETTY IMAGES

New Zealand-born forward Nasi Manu is tackled by the English defence during Tonga’s 35-3 defeat.

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“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 ti

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