Old Town Boys Thrive In Rugby

  Even though Manawatu failed to win the Ranfurly Shield for the first time against Waikato on Sunday, it was a chance for three childhood friends to meet up after
07 Sep 2016 11:29
Old Town Boys Thrive In Rugby
From left: Newton Tudreu, Sevu Reece and Nathan Tudreu after the Manawatu-Waikato Ranfurly Shield game.


Even though Manawatu failed to win the Ranfurly Shield for the first time against Waikato on Sunday, it was a chance for three childhood friends to meet up after a year. Brothers Newton (22) and Nathan Tudreu (27) who play for Manawatu played against rivals Waikato which featured their friend Sevu Reece (19).

All three grew up together in Old Town in the Civil Aviation Authority of Fiji (CAAF) Compound in Nadi. The trio attended Nadi Airport School and were together before going their separate ways when high school started. Reece attended Queen Victoria School while the Tudreu brothers attended Nadi Christian.

Forward a couple of years later, the trio now reside in New Zealand pursuing their rugby careers and no one could be more proud of them than Peter Koroitamana, Newton and Nathan’s uncle, who has watched them grow up together.

“I am really proud of them and what they have achieved, we never really imagined someone from the family would be playing overseas like this,” Koroitamana said.

“Seeing the three boys growing up together being neighbours, attending the same school and watching them play together was really exciting. The Tudreu’s household had around 20 to 30 people who gathered just to watch the boys play on Sunday.

“The whole family is proud of them and we always grab every opportunity we can to watch their games. The boys live a long way from each other and they rarely get time to meet up, it has been a year since they been together and this competition brought them together on Sunday.

“I rang Newton and Nathan the day before their game and they were going to meet up with Sevu to have a catch up before the game.”

Newton and Nathan have been branded as ambassadors of the International Pacific College which they attend for being involved with the Manawatu rugby team which has lifted the profile of the college.

Koroitamana said he does his best to keep in touch with them on a regular basis to encourage them, especially before games, as Newton and Nathan are aiming to make it big in the land where rugby thrives.

“I talk to them nearly every day and offer them words of encouragement before games or just to catch up and see how they are getting on,” he said.

“The two reasons we wanted them to go to New Zealand, was to pursue a good education and at the same time play the sport in the best rugby nation. The boys have big dreams, they want to make to the Super Rugby competition and I believe with the hard work they have been putting in, that could be possible. We are really proud of them and how far they have come.”

With two brothers already in the Manawatu team, Koroitamana says, they are hoping to make it three with Neal Tudreu who is part of the development squad.

Manawatu and Waikato have played a total of 27 games. Waikato retained the title with a 19-10 win at the FMG Stadium in Hamilton.

Former Nadi Airport School students who are currently playing overseas include; Viliame Rarasea, who plays for Counties Manukau and John Tuva, who plays in France.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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