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Canada 7s: Injuries Worry Baber

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber is con­cerned on the number of inju­ries in camp ahead of the Canada Sevens in Vancouver this week­end.
09 Mar 2019 15:28
Canada 7s: Injuries Worry Baber
Injured halfback Semaia Tuwai (middle) is assisted off the field during the Las Vegas 7s on march 4, 2019. Photo: World Rugby

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber is con­cerned on the number of inju­ries in camp ahead of the Canada Sevens in Vancouver this week­end.

Speaking from Vancouver yes­terday Baber confirmed Seremaia Tuwai is fighting to recover from an ankle injury in Las Vegas last weekend against South Africa and it aggravated in Vancouver.

Vilimoni Botitu has a back injury and Paula Dranisinukula suffers from a calf injury.

“We know we are underpressure. We didn’t perform to the level we planned for Vegas. There’s a couple of reasons why it didn’t happen, there are couple of injuries to Tu­wai and Botitu’s back which was smashed in the tackle,” he said.

“I’m concerned but the medical team has worked hard with them to see where they need to be. They trained on Wednesday afternoon with the team which was good after intense physio session on Tuesday and Wednesday.

“This is disappointing but all the three have come through.”

Losing Waisea Nacuqu, who frac­tured his collarbone in the pool game against Australia, was dis­appointing. But he was impressed with how Botitu rose to the occa­sion when he switched from rover to playmaker.

It is highly likely the Nadi native will play in the playmaker’s posi­tion this weekend.

“Nacuqu was a big blow for us but I thought Botitu did well especially switching from rover to playmaker, I will continue with that going on this weekend.”

The team are more focused on play­ing according to the nation’s expec­tation rather than worrying about the cold weather in Vancouver. “They have more important things to worry about rather than the weather.

“The weather won’t stop us from what we will have to do now.”

Restart worry

It was evident in Sydney and Las Ve­gas 7s that the kickoff was not con­sistent and the Fijians continue to give away possession in this area.

Baber admits that this is an issue after Vatemo Ravouvou and Amenoni Nasi­lasila left due to disciplinary issues.

Baber said; “We have the forwards like Mesulame Kunavula, Sevuloni Mocena­cagi, Josua Vakurinabili who have the height and reach to win possessions.

“Now the two players and Nacuqu have left and we will work continuously on it and won’t make excuses,” he added.

Forget Ravouvou: Baber

Ravouvou will not return to the 7s camp as confirmed by Baber.

“Ravouvou is an excellent player but I’m disappointed that I ended up in a situation where I had to drop him from the squad due to disciplinary reasons.

“It is important for this group of play­ers to see that their discipline stays in position and even though some people pushing the panic button.

“But the leadership has shown and we stick with the decision we make for these players.”

Edited by Osea Bola

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