When Canowindra's Callum Clyburn finished his round one Woodbridge Cup game against Condobolin on Saturday he'd done a lot more than help his side defeat the Rams.
The 23-year-old had defeated testicular cancer as well.
It was in 2019 when Clyburn was cutting up some concrete at work and began to feel some unusual pains in his back.
A couple of weeks later after coughing up blood, he went to the doctor and was told he had cancer.
The infection had spread into his lungs and his back as he'd developed a 70 millimetre tumour on his spine.
Not only that, but the cancer had also devastated his left kidney beyond the point of repair.
During major surgery in 2019, Clyburn had the tumour removed, as well as his faulty kidney, leaving him in a state of shock.
"That was my life two years ago ... it was a bit of a bombshell," Clyburn said.
That was my life two years ago ... it was a bit of a bombshell.Callum Clyburn after his cancer diagnosis
"After the operation, I asked the doctor if I'd be able to play footy again."
Once he recovered from the surgery, Clyburn did three months of chemo, successfully killing the majority of the cancer, leaving only a few remaining legions on his lungs.
So, while he's not technically in remission yet, he's all-but fought off a life-threatening disease.
Now back on the field doing what he loves, you can't wipe the smile of Clyburn's face.
"I was so happy to be back on the field," he said.
"I've been playing since I was three and that's all I've wanted to do these last couple of years. It was so hard watching on the sidelines and running water in 2019."
He doesn't have to take too many game day precautions but will need to thoroughly pad his right kidney area for the rest of his career.
"The doctor asked me how often I get hit in the kidney," he said.
"I told him it wasn't very often. I just put some foam padding and some tape around that area."
Clyburn admittedly felt a few nerves in his first game back, but after fighting against cancer for two years what harm can a little rugby league do?
"I wasn't worried in my first game back. I was more unfit from being away from the game for two years," he laughed.
Clyburn played hooker in Canowindra's massive win over Condobolin, but knows the Tigers face a stiffer task in round two as they welcome Molong to town.
"This weekend is going to be pretty challenging for us," he said.
"Molong obviously have some really good players."
Canowindra has welcomed a new head coach to the fold this winter and Kev Grimshaw has made a great impression on the playing group so far.
"He's been unreal and he really knows what he's talking about when it comes to game planning and structure," he said.
"He's very good with all the individuals and pulls you up and gives you advice."
The Tigers will host the Bulls at Tom Clyburn Oval on Sunday.
In the other games, Manildra plays host to Grenfell, Peak Hill welcomes Eugowra to town, and Condobolin hosts Cargo.
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