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Exeter Chiefs' Aidon Davis to undergo chemotherapy after cancer diagnosis

By PA
Aidon Davis of Exeter Chiefs arrives prior to the Premiership Rugby Cup match between London Irish and Exeter Chiefs at Gtech Community Stadium on March 19, 2023 in Brentford, England. (Photo by Alex Davidson/Getty Images)

Exeter’s South African forward Aidon Davis has revealed that he is to undergo cancer treatment.

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The 29-year-old back-rower has been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma and will have chemotherapy to treat the disease.

“I’ve recently received the news that I’ve been diagnosed with Non-Hodgkin’s Lymphoma,” Davis told the official Exeter website.

“While still feeling perfectly fit and healthy, I will have to go through chemotherapy and won’t be fit for selection for the next few months.

“I will continue training as treatment allows and be there for the team, in any way possible.

“Myself and the doctors are very positive about the treatment and the results it will bring.

“I want to thank my wife for being by my side every step of the way, and my family and friends – especially my Chiefs family, the players, coaching staff, medical staff and everyone in the organisation for being there for me, supporting me and being so understanding.”

Davis, who can operate at flanker or number eight, joined Gallagher Premiership club Exeter in March 2022.

He had previously played for the Eastern Province Kings, Southern Kings and Cheetahs in his native South Africa, as well as Toulon and Bayonne in France.

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Exeter director of rugby Rob Baxter said: “Obviously, this is a tough time for Aidon and his family.

“But fortunately Aidon was smart enough to get his initial concerns checked with the club’s medical staff which has resulted in a swift diagnosis and therefore early and immediate treatment.

“We at the Chiefs are all right behind him in his fight to get 100 per cent well again and I know Aidon is desperate to continue getting into the club and training and partaking in club activities whenever he can.

“He is an incredibly strong and popular character and I know all our supporters will join myself, the staff and players in supporting him wherever and whenever we can.”

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Jon 1 days ago
Why Sam Cane's path to retirement is perfect for him and the All Blacks

> It would be best described as an elegant solution to what was potentially going to be a significant problem for new All Blacks coach Scott Robertson. It is a problem the mad population of New Zealand will have to cope with more and more as All Blacks are able to continue their careers in NZ post RWCs. It will not be a problem for coaches, who are always going to start a campaign with the captain for the next WC in mind. > Cane, despite his warrior spirit, his undoubted commitment to every team he played for and unforgettable heroics against Ireland in last year’s World Cup quarter-final, was never unanimously admired or respected within New Zealand while he was in the role. Neither was McCaw, he was considered far too passive a captain and then out of form until his last world cup where everyone opinions changed, just like they would have if Cane had won the WC. > It was never easy to see where Cane, or even if, he would fit into Robertson’s squad given the new coach will want to be building a new-look team with 2027 in mind. > Cane will win his selections on merit and come the end of the year, he’ll sign off, he hopes, with 100 caps and maybe even, at last, universal public appreciation for what was a special career. No, he won’t. Those returning from Japan have already earned the right to retain their jersey, it’s in their contract. Cane would have been playing against England if he was ready, and found it very hard to keep his place. Perform, and they keep it however. Very easy to see where Cane could have fit, very hard to see how he could have accomplished it choosing this year as his sabbatical instead of 2025, and that’s how it played out (though I assume we now know what when NZR said they were allowing him to move his sabbatical forward and return to NZ next year, they had actually agreed to simply select him for the All Blacks from overseas, without any chance he was going to play in NZ again). With a mammoth season of 15 All Black games they might as well get some value out of his years contract, though even with him being of equal character to Richie, I don’t think they should guarantee him his 100 caps. That’s not what the All Blacks should be about. He absolutely has to play winning football.

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