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Switch Upsets Baber

  Gareth Baber is disappointed with players signing contracts overseas after the Fiji Rugby Union has made huge investment in developing them. The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach made
30 Dec 2018 10:52
Switch Upsets Baber
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber.

 

Gareth Baber is disappointed with players signing contracts overseas after the Fiji Rugby Union has made huge investment in developing them.

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach made special reference to former 7s squad member and Under-20 rep Ilikena Vudogo who switched to rugby league signing a contract with the Brisbane Broncos.

Baber confirmed FRU is working on a plan to keep the players in the code.

“Ilikena has signed a contract with Brisbane Broncos,” Baber said

“It is very obvious with the quality of players we have in the 7s team, that there is always going to be teams that will be looking to pinch these players which really kills me.

“We do spend huge amount of effort in developing these players but at the end it all goes to a waste when they move on to sign contracts with teams overseas.

“FRU is working hard in trying to get these players together from the young age and conducting programmes for them to come into the national teams at the age of 21. Moving overseas is just counter-intuitive to me.

“For me personally, I badly want those players to stay in the team and represent Fiji for as long as they can and that’s what we are looking at doing similarly for the 15s.

“And the hard job is to develop these players and keeping them in the country for the next 3-5 years and helping them become better players.”

Baber highlighted the need to have experienced players to motivate the newcomers in the side to perform to the best of their ability and produce results.

“Paula Dranisinukula and Josua Vakurinabili are prime examples of that,” he said.

I saw them playing in the Coral Coast 7s at the end of January last year and they didn’t play in tournaments until May and all that period I was trying to get them physically and mentally understanding of what rugby 7s was all about.

“And all the pressures that come with playing at national level and that is getting use to the scrutiny and comments from the public in terms of the performance of the players.

“These are young men that come from the village and represent their country and doing their utmost best. After all we are human beings and we make mistakes but we try to make it right as many times as possible as we can.”

The second cluster of the World Sevens Series will be held in Hamilton-Sydney next month

-edited by Osea Bola

Feedback:  grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj

 

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