SPORTS

Focus!

Gareth Baber is looking forward to his first stint overseas as the Vodafone Fijian 7s coach. And he aims to produce what they trained for in the past three weeks
26 Jan 2017 11:55
Focus!

Gareth Baber is looking forward to his first stint overseas as the Vodafone Fijian 7s coach.

And he aims to produce what they trained for in the past three weeks at the Wellington 7s this weekend.

After a scrimmaging session with England yesterday, his focus was to prepare the players to be in competition mood.

“I’m not worried about anything. My concern is making sure my players need to be where they need to be, come the competition days,” Baber said.

He said he was not intimidated by the enormity of the challenge after Fiji last won at New Zealand’s capital in 2010.

“During our scrimmaging session against England we focussed on areas we have been working on in Fiji and it’s just about how we create tempo in a game,” Baber said.

Wellington 7s kicks off at 10am on Saturday. Fiji takes on Australia in their first pool match at 10.46am, Japan at 2.10pm and South Africa at 6.18pm.

“The pool is tough. South Africa, Australia and Japan will be a threat.

“But I will concentrate on us and make the best team we can be,” he said.

The Cup quarterfinal starts at 11.38am on Sunday while the Cup final will be played at 7.30pm.

The 13-member squad will be named today.

 

Fiji are in a rebuilding phase

Fiji have won one of the opening two rounds every year since 2011, taking three titles at the Gold Coast Sevens and two Dubai Sevens titles in that time frame. 2016 was the first year they didn’t take home some silverware, although they came pretty close in Dubai after losing narrowly to South Africa.

After their gold medal success at Rio 2016 and back-to-back series titles under the leadership of Ben Ryan, expectations are high for Fiji.

2016 also proved a watershed moment for the Pacific island outfit. Players have moved over to 15s and Ryan has stepped down, with Baber coming in at the Wellington 7s to manage his first tournament.

There’s plenty of change within Fiji, but they still remain one of the most naturally gifted sides on the series and an undisputable threat to all hoping to compete for the top spots. – World Rugby

 



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