Watch: Shocked Canterbury players, staff send heartfelt messages to former teammate Nasi Manu after cancer news

Canterbury may be gearing up for a tough Mitre 10 Cup Premiership semi-final against Tasman tomorrow night but it hasn't stopped them from feeling for one of their own.

Canterbury coach Joe Maddock and veteran player Luke Romano spent time today speaking to media after news broke this morning former player Nasi Manu has been diagnosed with testicular cancer.

Maddock said the news was a shock.

"I actually just heard that on the way in this morning so it was a bit of a surprise to hear it," he said.

"No doubt our Canterbury men here will get behind him and send him love and hope it's a minor thing."

Manu played seven seasons of provincial rugby in the red and black stripes after scoring a try on debut against Counties Manukau at Mount Smart Stadium in 2007.

In seven years, he made 72 appearances and scored 13 tries for Canterbury while also playing two Super Rugby seasons with the Crusaders and a further five with the Highlanders.

Romano played with Manu and was full of praise for the number eight.

"Nasi's a legend of Canterbury rugby.

"I was lucky enoguh to play a few seasons with him and what he gives on the field is massive, he gave 120 per cent each day on and off the field.

"He's a good team man."

The 30-year-old revealed his diagnosis on social media this morning and said he was ready for the battle ahead.

"Still a bit of a road to recovery but got the best Italy has to offer and I will make a full recovery - I’m sure of it!"

Luke Romano and Joe Maddock said the team had only just heard the news. Source: 1 NEWS

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