THEY struggled together in the same neighbourhood for years before parting ways to make a name for themselves in the rugby arena.
Three years later, it was a fitting reward of their commitment and sheer hard work.
Fiji sevens coach Alivereti Dere brought them back together in his final 12-member team to the Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
For Metuisela Talebua, Jasa Veremalua and Joji Ragamate, it was a fitting reward for the hard work they put in during their humble beginning with the Natabua rugby 7s team that raised eyebrows on the local 7s scene three years ago.
The side scooped some of the major 7s title, including the then Fiji TV 7s series in 2010 before being picked up by the big guns.
Talebula sealed a contract in France, Ragamate joined Wardens and Veremalua was recruited by Red Rock.
Despite being separated, they remained committed to their dreams and reaped the fruits of their hard work after being called to team up again.
This time it is a higher calling.
"Being named to represent Fiji at the Rugby World Cup Sevens is a dream come true," said Veremalua.
"The icing on the cake is to see my two rugby mates, Joji and Metui, in the same team.
"I never imagined we would team up again, especially for the world cup. It will be a moment to cherish."
Veremalua said he was emotional when their names were announced. He recalled the struggle, tears and pain they endured while at Natabua.
"I still have fond memories of those days when we used to train back in Natabua," he said.
"While other teams had the luxury of training in gyms and securing good sponsors, we were sweating it out in the Natabua ground almost every day."
"It was the love of the game that bonded us together until reuniting for this special occasion.
"To be selected to represent our country for the world cup is something I never imagined.
"I thank the Almighty Lord for his blessing and like other players in the team we will give our outmost effort for Fiji and to our fans in Natabua."
The Natabua community was in jovial mood celebrating the achievements of these heroes after years of heart aches, struggles and commitments.
Like Talebula, Veremalua and Ragamate have secured rugby contracts in France after the Rugby World Cup.