Support Gareth: Ryan

Former 7s coach Ben Ryan pleads support for newly appointed coach Gareth Baber. Baber will take over from Ryan during the Wellington leg of the 2016/2017 World Sevens Series until
29 Oct 2016 11:46
Support Gareth: Ryan
Gareth Baber (left), with Ben Ryan during last year’s Hong Kong 7s.

Former 7s coach Ben Ryan pleads support for newly appointed coach Gareth Baber.

Baber will take over from Ryan during the Wellington leg of the 2016/2017 World Sevens Series until the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“I don’t want to be the ex-coach that comments on a new coach,” Ryan said.

“Just wish him all the very best and will be cheering for the boys this season. Veilomani.

“I’m sure all Fijians join me in wishing him nothing but positivity, support and lolomas.”

Baber, the former Wales 7s rep and currently Hong Kong Rugby 7s coach, was confirmed as the new coach by Fiji Rugby Union chairman Francis Kean yesterday.

Baber believes the task is challenging and interesting.

“As a coach, this is an incredible opportunity to work with the present world and Olympic champions,” Baber said.

“Coaches, like players, need to constantly challenge themselves; I want to continuously strengthen my knowledge of the game and the competition level that Fiji operates to provide that opportunity.”

Baber acknowledges the support of Hong Kong Rugby Union.

“This appointment would not have been possible without the support of the HKRU  and the opportunities they have given me.

“If there is one positive to my leaving it is the opportunity to work with Fiji Rugby, who has such a special relationship with the city, and the chance to return every year during the Hong Kong Sevens,” he added.

Strength and conditioning coach Nacanieli Cawanibuka will act as interim coach and will guide the team to the Oceania 7s Championships on November 11-12 and the first leg in Dubai and South Africa in December.

Kean also confirmed the current team management and selectors will be maintained.

“The board is confident Baber possesses the relevant qualifications skills sets and experience required to ensure we maintain our leading role in the abbreviated code.

“Baber is happy with the current management that is in place, he is happy to ensure continuity to ensure that we ride in the high that we currently are in as we want to maintain the leading role.”

Even though the contract is a four year deal, the performance will be evaluated through the key performance indicator (KPI).

“We have a stringent KPI and that’s something management and board will monitor to see we get dividends from the field at the end of the day.”

Baber has an extensive coaching career both for 7s and 15s codes having being the assistant coach for Wales 7s team from 2005-2006 and head coach for Wales 7s team from 2006-2008 prior to taking up different coaching capacities including head coach for the Cardiff Blues.

Baber is a Level 4 accredited coach and has academic qualifications in Economics, Social Studies and International Transportation.


7s players contract

Kean has also confirmed the FRU chief executive officer John O’Connor is currently having discussions with the Fijian National Sports Commission regarding players’ contract.

There are also talks on contracting the women players.

“CEO is currently having discussions with his counterparts at the Fiji sports commission, and hopefully we get some results for the future.

“For the women work in progress all of us want to see our players play well in international stage and hopefully CEO will get some outcome from his discussion,” Kean said.


Edited by Osea Bola



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