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New Journey

New Journey
Gareth Baber (middle) is welcomed at Nadi International Airport yesterday. Photo: Waisea Nasokia
January 04
13:58 2017

Vodafone Fijian 7s rugby head coach Gareth Baber firmly believes that working with the finest players in the world will be his greatest challenge.

The 44-year-old Welshman arrived into the country yesterday and was met by Fiji Rugby Union chief executive officer John O’Connor at Nadi International Airport.

“It’s just a great challenge,” he told SUNsports.

“Rugby in Fiji has always been a big part of your identity and the family identity of Fiji. I’m looking forward to pushing myself and pushing the players to be the best they can possibly be.”

Baber has visited our shores on many occasions and is now going to call it home for the next four years.

“Ben (Ryan) did an excellent job here and produce some great performance here in Fiji and my job is try to create the same.”

“I know the requirement to maintain the bench mark, which is the Rio Olympic 7s gold win. I’m obviously aware of all of them (players) and have watched them from a far, I sort have competed against them, but my first job is to actually catch-up with a few of them, some of the senior players who have a good influence on the side and players who are coming into recognition as well.

 

WAY FORWARD

The former Hong Kong rugby 7s coach said he has been following the 2016/17 World Rugby Seven Series.

“I think what we saw in South Africa and Dubai was a team that plays the way that they do and I want to encourage that as much as possible but obviously it is very competitive,” he said.

“South Africa is very much the top team and we really have to look at their position and their past performance with top teams.”

 

IMPORTANT TASK

In the coming days, Baber said, he has to work on an important task and that is to know the players and to ensure that they are on the same page with him.

“The next two to three weeks could be very important in getting to know them and them getting to know me prior to going to Wellington and Sydney,” he added.

“That’s what I am obviously here to do and coach the team, and looking forward to meeting up with them tomorrow. Hopefully, then we can push for Wellington and Sydney.”

Fiji Rugby Union board will meet with the new coach next week and O’Connor says, they look forward to another exciting series.

“We are excited that Gareth has arrived, it’s a start of another new journey we are glad that he’s onboard and we are looking forward to the series.

Baber met with the team management yesterday afternoon and is expected to meet the players at Uprising Beach Resort today.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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