SPORTS | Super Rugby

Minimbi to face his idol Whitelock

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua lock Chris Minimbi is living his dream when he comes off the bench to play the Crusaders tonight.
20 May 2022 14:30
Minimbi to face his idol Whitelock
Swire Shipping Fijian Drua lock forward Chris Minimbi (with ball) during training behind him are Vilive Miramira, Peni Matawalu. Photo: Fijian Drua.

Swire Shipping Fijian Drua lock Chris Minimbi is living his dream when he comes off the bench to play the Crusaders tonight.

If that happens, he gets the opportunity to rub shoulders with his idol and veteran All Blacks lock Sam Whitelock at the Or­angetheory Stadium in Christchurch.

That dream began when he used to sit in front of their television during his child­hood days watching his favourite team the Crusaders win the Super Rugby title.

Speaking to SUNsports, Minimbi said, if that happens it would a dream come true.

“We met Sam Whitelock in Melbourne but I didn’t get a chance to play against him,” he said.

“Both Whitelock and Brodie Retallick of the Chiefs they are amazing lock forwards and very lethal in their approach.

“They are such dominant locks as they are always present and active in the field. I’m living my dream of playing in the toughest club rugby competition on the planet.”

Minimbi said playing the Crusaders is an opportunity for them to play some of the world’s best players.

“As a lock I’ve learnt that work doesn’t stop, always get off the ground. It gets harder and harder as the game goes on,” he said.

“That is where you have to dig deep be­cause when it’s hard for you it’s 10 times harder for them.

“Staying on my feet and working harder it the main thing that I’ve learned.”

Meanwhile, Drua head coach Mick Byrne said they are excited to face the Crusaders in Christchurch.

“Another great challenge for the play­ers in their first season. Challenges don’t come much bigger than this and it’s going to be a great experience for us all,” he said.

Byrne has opted for the halves pairing of promising halfback Peni Matawalu and the much-improved Caleb Muntz.

He has selected locking pair Isoa Nasilas­ila and Ratu Rotuisolia to face Whitelock and Zach Gallagher with Minimbi coming in as an impact player.

Feedbacks: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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