SPORTS

Down To The Wire: Baber

Teams target strong finish to book Olympic Games spot, says head coach
02 May 2019 11:28
Down To The Wire: Baber
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s playmaker Waisea Nacuqu delivers the ball during training at Albert Park, Suva on May 1, 2019. Photo: Ronald Kumar

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team need to put on a high level performance for a strong finish at the final leg of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series.

Head coach Gareth Baber said the onus is on him to ensure that they achieve that in the London and Par­is tournaments.

“All teams will want to have a strong finish and we got to be at our best,” Baber said yesterday.

The London 7s is on May 26-27 while the Paris 7s will be from June 1-2. The Fijians with 142 points are trailing series leaders USA who have 145. The Clark Laidlaw-coached New Zealand are in thirld place with 130 points.

The top four teams from the Series automatically qualify to the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo, Japan.

“I don’t look too far on other teams but I’ve got a big job to ensure that my players are where they need to be to perform at that level,” Baber said.

“We’re in a position to push for top spots and we have two tournaments to go and it’s down to the wire.

“Everybody is close to each other we really need to capitalise going into these two tournaments.

“We also know that every team is playing for something and that is being in the top four spots.”

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s  rover Vilimoni Botitu  during training at Albert Park, Suva on May 1, 2019.  Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s rover Vilimoni Botitu during training at Albert Park, Suva on May 1, 2019.
Photo: Ronald Kumar

CHANCE FOR NACUQU, NASOKO

Baber said: “There is a chance for injured players like Waisea Nacuqu and Kalione Nasoko hop­ing to make a comeback at the Lon­don and Paris 7s. They are back in training with us.”

However, the Welshman said they are still in the early days of their rehab.

“We need to gauge their fitness level and how they are progressing.

“It’s important that we don’t rush players back but they need to be honouring that position that they get.

“It’s a privilege to be here in the first place and they need to keep pushing.”

This he says, also goes to Livai Ikanikoda and veteran halfback Seremaia Tuwai who are also going through the rehabilitation process.

Meanwhile, Ikanikoda, Isoa Tabu along with team mentor Tomasi Cama Snr are in Vanuatu to get their French visas sorted out.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s  forward Josua Vakurinabili during training at Albert Park, Suva on May 1, 2019.  Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s forward Josua Vakurinabili during training at Albert Park, Suva on May 1, 2019.
Photo: Ronald Kumar

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: anasilinir@fijisun.com.fj

Fijisun E-edition
Tanoa Plaza Hotel Suva
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
Fiji Sun Instagram
Fiji Plus
Subscribe-to-Newspaper
error: