London Irish hooker Darren Dawidiuk is receiving treatment for testicular cancer.
The 30-year-old joined the Exiles from Gloucester in the summer, but has yet to make a competitive appearance.
Dawidiuk was diagnosed following a pre-season friendly against Ealing Trailfinders and is having a course of chemotherapy.
“All of the London Irish management team and the players have been extremely supportive,” he said.
“Director of rugby Nick Kennedy has been brilliant from the moment I was diagnosed, and I can’t wait to complete my treatment plan and get the green light to return to training.”
Dawidiuk, who played 146 games for Gloucester from 2009 to 2017 after moving to Kingsholm from Cornish Pirates, is able to do gym sessions and has adopted a vegan diet to aid his recovery.
“The doctors have already noticed the benefits of me being on a vegan diet and they are encouraging me to keep it up and continue with my training,” he explained.
“By following this diet I feel much healthier and don’t feel as bloated, which is giving me the energy to train in the gym.”
Gloucester host London Irish in the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday and both teams will warm up wearing items supplied by the Oddballs clothing company, which promotes awareness of testicular cancer.