Olympians told to work on discipline. Coach  wants to see changes before holding any talk regarding selection   The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber still has an open
23 Jan 2019 10:00
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber shares a light moment with members of the Fijian community in Hamilton, New Zealand after they were welcomed on January 21, 2019. Photo: Fijian Hamilton Society

Olympians told to work on discipline. Coach  wants to see changes before holding any talk regarding selection  

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber still has an open door policy when it comes to selection.

Speaking to SUNsports, Baber confirmed that players vying for a spot in the national team should not stop trying.

The Welshman indicated that this also  includes Olympians and former 7s stars of Samisoni Viriviri, Kitione Taliga and Vatemo Ravouvou.

However, Baber warned the players that there is zero tolerance on indiscipline on and off the field as people look up to them as role models.

Baber was impressed with the players’ performance during the McDonald’s Fiji Coral Coast 7s tournament at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka last weekend.

Viriviri and Ravouvou played for Dratabu while Taliga played for tournament winners Police.

“The door is always open. Vatemo had disciplinary issue with alcohol like what FRU stated. So for me I need prove that he is changed than we can talk about his passport back into the team.

“Ultimately, I’ve got players in the squad that needs to realise that, that’s the level of discipline you got to have.

“They are international athletes. They are more like athletic runners, swimmers than they are rugby players. They got to come with that behaviour and the current boys in the squad are showing them.”

Baber added that former reps are not left behind when it comes to selection however they have to prove their worth.

“They are former reps but we’ve eyes and would want to see how far they’re going.”

Baber said the new players are coming in with very promising talents.

He also confirmed that two new players are on his list and will join the team as soon as they return from Sydney.

Baber did not wish to release their names saying that it would put extra pressure on them .

“Right now there are no names because we love every man in Fiji but ultimately I just want these boys to keep developing because as soon as we mentioned their names there is a huge pressure on their shoulders.

“It’s my job to think of them, where they can put the best of their abilities.

“When they come to an international environment it will not be easy and they can carry with on what they were doing,” he added.

It is understood that the new players are Police winger Rusiate Matai and prop Suliasi Volivoli.



Baber also confirmed that he has met maestro Waisale Serevi and has given his assurance to assist the Russian national sevens team during their first tour to Fiji.

Serevi who is the Russia 7s head coach told SUNsports last Saturday that they would be competing in this year’s Fiji Bitter Marist Sevens tournament in Suva.

“The talks were about when Russia comes in. We’ll play in some games being it be full contact or not,” he said.

“It’s important for our players, they keep the concepts of playing against other teams in their heads. When teams come to Fiji I’m very open, I want them to come in.

“I want them to see our environment I want them to see what we do, it’s important that we keep learning and it’s important that we’re exposed to many cultures.”

Team like Russia and Hong Kong play structured rugby.

“People playing very differently as you’ve seen on TV, we as Fijians play very similarly to each other so having teams like Russia or Hong Kong that came last week is a bonus,” he added.

“Every line-up there’s something called doing it and that’s good for our players to listen and watch.”

– Edited by Leone Cabenatabua




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