‘We’re In A War’

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rugby team head coach Gareth Baber said they have a good chance of winning the war in the ‘two big weeks’ ahead, Fiji aims to defend
29 Mar 2018 10:19
‘We’re In A War’
Fiji sevens coach Gareth Baber during training at Uprising ground on March 28, 2018. Photo: Ronald Kumar.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rugby team head coach Gareth Baber said they have a good chance of winning the war in the ‘two big weeks’ ahead,

Fiji aims to defend the Hong Kong Sevens next weekend on April 6-8 and score first back-to-back wins on April 14-15 by winning gold at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia.

Speaking after an intensive train­ing session with the squad at the Uprising Beach Resort yesterday before the team departs for Hong Kong today, Baber was happy with the players’ enthusiasm and indi­vidual skills level.

“We had a very intensive training session and I’m glad the boys did not have any chronic problems,”Baber said,

“But there is a bit of flu in camp with two players Seremaia Tuwai and Mesulame Kunavula rested from training.

“What we really want to achieve in Hong Kong is to progress with the different elements of the game.

“For instance, Isake Katonibau came into training today and his leadership into the Hong Kong 7s tournament last year and stand­ards he set for himself has brought people to drive towards winning the tournament. And that’s what I want to see again.

“And it is quiet impactful to have players like Isake in the team. We are hopeful to make it our fourth win in-a-row in Hong Kong.

“We are in a war and the whole World Sevens Series is a war and our next battle is Hong Kong,

“We need to be focused as we have big two weeks ahead for us.

“We are glad to have experienced players like Vatemo Ravouvou and Jasa Veremalua.”

Semi Kunatani Boosts

Baber said they were trying to get France–based Semi Kunatani this weekend.

“We are still arranging his flight and it is important we develop our relationship with clubs in France.

“They have no obligation to re­lease their players at this point, But they will call their players back at anytime since they are contracted.

“He is a quality player and he is aware of what is expected of him. Having him in the team will be a big boost for us.

“I am naming 16 players to play in the HK7s from which 13 are expect­ed to be part of the Commonwealth Games.

“And when it comes to Common­wealth Games we have the limited ability to change the squad as there are more strict rules in terms of bringing in new players.

“The 16 boys that are travelling with us will be part of the Com­monwealth Games as well and if we encounter injuries in Hong Kong, then obviously we have replace­ments ready.”

Viriviri A Quality Player

Baber highlighted the inclusion of the Samisoni Viriviri in the squad as a boost for the team.

“Viriviri and I had a few differenc­es before and that is why he dropped out previously,”Baber said.

“But nevertheless he is a quality player and good behavior is what players need to have in order to achieve success for Fiji

“The good thing about Sami is that he knows the game inside out. At the moment fitness is one key area we need to fix and that is why we are taking him early to Hong Kong as well and he is usually the 13th men for the Commonwealth Games.

Fiji play Samoa at 12.43am next Saturday, Russia at 5.54pm and New Zealand at 9.54pm.

Edited by Osea Bola


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