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Baber On New 7s Format

Baber On New 7s Format
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s wing Alosio Naduva in full flight with head coach Gareth Baber (right) on the sideline during a warm-up match at the Utah Valley University on July 7, 2018. Photo: Utah Valley Univerity
July 09
10:00 2018

With less games the Rugby World Cup Sevens will be more competitive as ever, says coach

Missing out on the Common­wealth Games gold medal and finishing first in the World Sev­ens Series has made our Fiji Fijian 7s players more determine as ever.

Head coach Gareth Baber said the play­ers have left behind their past disap­pointments.

“We are aiming to come out in first place,” he said.

“We have prepared well for it and the trick is getting our players in that re­laxed focused environment.”

Baber said this is crucial for the play­ers as they look at taking certain aspects that could hinder their campaign.


“We would like to think Fiji plays well when we are better rested, it is a bit strange given that we only have to play four games during the Rugby World Cup Sevens.”

Baber said the only difference will be that, instead of playing only one final like in any other tournament, this will be like playing in four grand finals.”

The format has been adjusted where 16 recently qualified teams will be battling it out in the qualifying stages, then they will be facing the top eight teams (top eight finishers of the World Series) in the Round of 16.

Fiji is most likely to play the winner be­tween Japan and Uruguay. The winner will progress to the quarterfinals.

“This will be the first time where will be playing only four games in a week­end.

“But we will just need to up our game and make sure to do the things we have been doing right.”

Baber said they would be treating every game like the final, given that only one loss could very well be the end of their Rugby World Cup Sevens contention for the Melrose Cup.

“Fortunately we have a good train­ing base at Utah and the players will be ready.

“We will be looking at how our players will be performing during these train­ing sessions and we will make our as­sessments and decisions from there,” he added.

Meanwhile, Baber is expected to name his final 12 players by the end of this week.

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua


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