Classmates meet again on rugby paddock

Chris Minimbi and Angelo Smith. Picture: MELI LADDPETER

“It’s just really special to play competitive rugby with someone you grew up with.”

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua lock Chris Minimbi labelled last week’s pre-match with the Melbourne Rebels a special one since he was playing against former classmate Angelo Smith.

The two attended Marist Brothers High School in their two final years of school together and were part of the Deans squad.

Smith is one of three latest additions to the Rebels 2023 squad after he was first scouted by the side three years ago.

“Ever since he came from Saint Thomas High School in form five (2019), everyone at school could already tell that he was good at playing rugby,” Minimbi said.

Smith said it was an honour to share the field with a close friend, seeing that they both came from humble beginnings.

“When you play competitive rugby with someone you came up the ladder with, it gives you a feeling of satisfaction, like we’ve made it,” Smith said.

Smith came off the bench in the second quarter of the trial match that was held at Prince Charles Park in Nadi and made a few strong carries as well.

“The Drua were really tough today and hats off to their forwards for drilling well and keeping up their defence,” Smith said.

Smith said he was happy to be back in Fiji, playing in front of his people, fans and family members.

“I just want to thank all the fans and supporters for turning up here today to watch us play.”

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