Gareth Baber wants players to drive themselves to excel instead of him barking orders like a schoolteacher The Vodafone Fijian 7s coach said players know how to play rugby and
08 Jan 2017 11:44
Vodafone Fiji 7s head coach Gareth Baber at the Grand Pacific Hotel.Photo:Vilimoni Vaganalau.

Gareth Baber wants players to drive themselves to excel instead of him barking orders like a schoolteacher

The Vodafone Fijian 7s coach said players know how to play rugby and his job was to fine-tune their performance to achieve maximum result.

Baber spoke to SUNsports at the Grand Pacific Hotel in Suva yesterday after spending his first three days with the squad at the Uprising Beach Resort.

Baber is firm on guiding the Olympic gold medallist in the right direction in the second leg of the World Sevens Series in Wellington – Sydney later this month.

“I don’t want to be seen as a school teacher. I want to be somebody who really drives players own knowledge of how to play rugby,” he said.

“I need to create an environment for the players to be confident.

“It’s their game, it’s their way to play it, what I need to do is clarify some things in their head and help them deal with that pressure.”

The Welshman was impressed with the feedback from the players.

“The biggest thing I see is the disciplined approach in making sure Fiji stays on top in sevens. So it’s going to take a little bit of time for them to get used to me and me building up a relationship with them.”

The coach is proud to be associated with the team.

“Being in a rugby team is a privilege, being with an international team is even more.  But being with the Fiji 7s team is even higher as it gets and it’s important.

“We are trying to build a strong relationship with each other and I’m working to do that in a short period of time.

“So the first three days, the players have worked hard, the staff committed themselves in making sure we provide as much as we can to the players,” he said.

“There has been positive feedback from players following the first week of training and Baber firmly believes communication is vital.

“I speak regularly with the senior group and trying to communicate as much as I can. It’s the job of the coach and manager to make sure the two-way process of learning goes on.

“I’m very strong in creating learning environment and part of that is being able to communicate as well,” Baber said.


Kitione Taliga departure

Baber believes Olympic gold medallist Kitione Taliga joining Stade Francais rugby club is challenge all players face.

Taliga has signed a short term contract with Stade Français until the end of the season.

“Taliga’s departure is a loss, it’s the same wherever you go in the world as players look for challenge as much as they can. That’s the competitive world we play in terms of professional sport.

“The 7s players in the backline naturally have the ability to play in a number of places. We’ve somebody who can jump in there but obviously as we go on, we will look at players and see which one best suit.

“Seremaia Tuwai is an obvious candidate, I will look at the players in the next few weeks and I will take advice from Naca Cawanibuka who knows the players very well. It’s not easy for me to say who is a natural person to step in there.”

Meanwhile, the team will have a fitness test tomorrow at the ANZ Stadium.

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