THEY last played together against Samoa when they steered the Flying Fijians team to an Epson Cup victory in Japan in 2001.
One was at hooker and the other anchored the back of the scrum in that match.
Eleven years later the two are both on the sidelines giving instructions to their respective teams when they wrestle for the Pacific Nations Cup at the Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium in Tokyo this afternoon.
New Flying Fijians coach Inoke Male will face his former captain Greg Smith who is on the other side of the field as the Samoan forwards coach.
Male and Smith have played together for a long time in the Fiji jumper.
"Yes I have known Male for a very long time, we played several games together. He was a good player in his days and it is good to see him there as Fiji coach, Smith said.
"Sometimes I feel a bit strange on this Samoan team especially when I am used to playing against them during my playing days but now let us see what happens," the former Chiefs hooker said.
Male said Smith knew and understood the atmosphere in the Fijian camp whenever they lined against Samoa.
The former national rugby 15s number eight said Smith might have informed his Samoan pack how Fijians played but added the players on the field determined the outcome of a match.
"Yes, having Greg Smith on the other side will add more toughness into this game because he knows how we play.
"But that does not matter as the players on the ground are the ones that will determine the game," Male said.
Both teams have even chances to win the Cup way from holders Japan who have lost their grip on the title after last weeks 19-25 loss to Fiji.
Samoa also edged Tonga in a scrappy win to stake their claim on the trophy.
Fiji takes on Samoa at 3.10pm (Fiji time) at Prince Chichibu Memorial Stadium today.
Japan hosts Tonga in the second match.