SPORTS

Baber Names Final 12 Today

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber is going to finalise to 12-member squad to play in the Sydney 7s today. Baber had been monitoring the progress of playmaker Waisea
01 Feb 2019 10:00
Baber Names Final 12 Today
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s prop Paula Dranisinukula during training at the Parramatta Campus ground, Australia on January 31, 2019. Photo: Bruce Southwick/ZoomFiji

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber is going to finalise to 12-member squad to play in the Sydney 7s today.

Baber had been monitoring the progress of playmaker Waisea Nacuqu and winger Amini­asi Tuimaba after they fell sick shortly after the New Zealand 7s last weekend.

“They have been doing light training,” Baber said.

“They had been monitored and if they can’t play then I will obviously make a call and bring the 13th player in the side.

“But all in all we’re all okay and there is no major injury and we’re currently following the protocols set out and ensuring where they need to get both physically and mentally fit.”

Last week, Baber had to delay naming his side right to the deadline after he went through the fitness report of forward Paula Dranisinukula before including him in the final 12 squad while Apenisa Cakaubalavu was the 13th player.

BLITZBOKS EVOLUTION

The Blitzboks’ evolution will continue in Syd­ney with abrasive forward Zain Davids set to start ahead of captain Philip Snyman.

Davids‚ 21‚ started all six matches in Hamilton last week‚ where the Blitzboks ended fourth to move to 44 points on the standings‚ 13 behind log leaders the USA and Fiji.

Blitzboks coach Neil Powell has been planning ways to extend the careers of his stalwarts‚ while also ensuring that the younger players gain more experience with an eye on the future. In Davids’s case‚ the coach felt he was ready to start after accumulating 15 tournament caps and playing in the Rugby Sevens World Cup last year.

Davids‚ who is determined not to fluff this opportunity‚ said: “It was a big surprise when coach told me I will be starting.

“We are a squad and a family‚ so we have each other’s backs‚ but I still didn’t expected it‚ as Philip is the captain. Even Philip supported the decision‚ and that made me very proud and humble.”

The two-time gold medal HSBC World Rugby World Series winner‚ who made his Blitzboks’ debut in 2017‚ added: “I trust the processes in the team and I know that will comfort me in games.

“The rest of the squad will also look after me‚ just as I look after them.”

The vote of confidence and support from his captain was a particularly huge boost for Da­vids‚ who also represented the Junior Spring­boks as a loose forward.

“Hearing from Philip that he backed me to take up a starting berth meant a lot‚” he said.

“I am very determined to make sure I don’t dis­appoint that trust.

“These are big shoes to fill‚ but I will do my absolute best to contribute in my new role‚” Da­vids added

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: grace.narayan@fijisun.com.fj



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