SPORTS

Fiji 7s Coach Believes His Young Guns Are A Force To Be Reckoned With

"One of my proudest moments this year was winning the Hong Kong Sevens with eight players that have never been there before. We also have eight players that have never been to London before. We can do it again in London and Paris" - Fiji 7s Coach Gareth Baber
21 May 2019 15:31
Fiji 7s Coach Believes His Young Guns Are A Force To Be Reckoned With
The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team in London on May 19, 2019. Photo: Fiji Rugby Union

Gareth Baber is banking on the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team to cap off the 2018-19 World Sevens Series with a hiss and a roar starting with defending London Sevens in Twickenham this weekend.

Coach Baber departed yesterday to join the team and is confident the team can deliver the result in London and Paris next weekend to win the series title.

The Paula Dranisinukula-captained side is in second spot (142pts) behind leaders United States (145), New Zealand is third (130) and South Africa (121) fourth.

“I’ve been particularly happy with the development of young men in the team. This is another chance for them to see if they can finish off the season in style,”Baber said.

“One of my proudest moments this year was winning the Hong Kong Sevens with eight players that have never been there before.

“We also have eight players that have never been to London before.

“They did it in Hong Kong, came agonisingly close in Singapore and we can do it again in London and Paris.  We can achieve anything we want to achieve if we get everything right.”

Fiji last major win was the inaugural 7s gold medal victory at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

Fiji won the series in 2005, 2015 and 2016 since it started in 1999 with New Zealand winning 12 times, South Africa 3 and Samoa once.

SUPPORT BOOST TEAM

Baber said the support rendered by Fijians in the United Kingdom was overwhelming.

“It is always the same wherever we travel in the world, there are Fijians wherever we go and there is huge support for us. It just reminds us exactly why we do it and who we do it for.

“The players and the staff know how unifying the success that we have can be for the country and that is a tough expectations to have on anybody’s shoulders.

“What we do is use the strength of our faith to ensure that we behave properly and deliver what we need to deliver and the boys are well aware of what is at stake this weekend.”

Despite being sick for the last few days, he communicated with the coaching staff and the players in England.

“It is not the same being with them and in some aspects I am always there with them. Part of the process is for these boys to start developing and maturing.

“They have had four or five days without me and we always talked about that as a group to keep pushing and that is part of developing ourselves as a group to be able to compete at that level.”

Fiji face Kenya in its first pool match at 9.36pm (FJ) on Saturday, France at 12.42am (FJ} on Sunday and Samoa at 3.48am (FJ).

Edited by Osea Bola

Feedbacknicolette.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

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