Weather Fiji, Suva   Max 30°C, Min 23°C

Fiji Sun


Baber: Speed And Power

Baber: Speed And Power
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber at the ANZ Stadium, Suva, on March 24, 2018. Photo: Nikolau Ravai.
July 03
14:04 2018

Coach to take 16 players to Utah before naming final 12 

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber is banking on speed and power to boost their chances of winning the Sevens Rugby World Cup.

Speaking to SUNsports yesterday, he said the players are ready.

“They are fit,” Baber said.

“It is not about changing our style of play nor is there a need for a change in attitude towards our preparation or how we do things.

“We just need to make sure that we are in the right position on game day.”

He said there were a lot of different aspects that needed to be addressed in terms of getting the players in the right state mentally, physically and spiritually.

However, Baber says they were aware of the challenges that are ahead of them and the nation’s expectation of them.

Baber has released the names of the 16 players that travel to Utah, tonight for their final phase of preparations. With 12 spots available for San Francisco, the head coach is seeking the ultimate combination of speed and power to give his side the edge.

Powerhouse lock forward and Olympian Leone Nakarawa to be playing sevens rugby after 35 games in the fifteens code Photo: Planet Rugby.

Powerhouse lock forward and Olympian Leone Nakarawa to be playing sevens rugby after 35 games in the fifteens code Photo: Planet Rugby.


“With the backing of FRU (Fiji Rugby Union), we’re able to take the extended squad and give ourselves the best chance for success,” he said.

The inclusion of European 15-a side stars Josua Tuisova, Semi Radradra, Semi Kunitani and Leone Nakarawa will add extra power to the squad.

“We know our squad can play with speed and intensity, and bringing in the European players allows us to add extra physical strength and power to the group.



“I’ve seen Semi (Radradra), Semi (Kunatani) and Josua handle the six game, two day tournaments quite well, and we will see where Leone is at after a huge 35 games of fifteens.

Power can be difficult to handle and his (Nakarawa) presence around the park will be something different we can add to our game for this tournament.”

Baber is expected to name his final 12 on July 18.

“We’ll be using the camp to focus on speed of the game, seeing how the players move around the park in attack and defence and to find the ultimate blend of pace and power.

“We’ve shown this year we have the ability to win games one after the other, which is vital in this no-pool knock out tournament”.

The Fijian men’s 7s side open their Sevens Rugby World Cup campaign against the winner of Qualifying Match 7, either Japan or Uruguay on Saturday, July 21, at 3.53pm (Fiji time). .

Utah Preparations Camp- Josua Kurunabili, Semi Kunitani, Kalione Nasoko, Jasa Veramulua, Paula Dranisinikula, Leone Nakarawa, Apenisa Cakabalavu, Seremaia Tuwai, Waisea Nacuqu, Amenoni Nasilasia, Vatemo Ravouvou, Eroni Sau, Alasio Naduva, Sevuloni Mocenecagi, Josua Tuisova, Semi Radradra
– Edited by Leone  Cabenatabua





Related Articles

you said it
"I support it 200 percent, I am with FRU, the country and the people of Fiji. We want to bid to get one of the HSBC stops in Fiji."
Waisale Serevi
Sevens Legend

Latest Photo Gallery

Fijisun Online @Instagram