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Baber: Quality Time In Training And Playing Is The Way Forward

I think the biggest challenge the Flying Fijians have against all other teams is that they are expected to compete even without spending time together as a team.
26 Oct 2019 14:53
Baber: Quality Time In Training And Playing Is The Way Forward
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coach Gareth Baber at the Fiji National University, Nasinu campus on October 24, 2019. Photo: Simione Haravanua

Spending quality time in training and playing is the way forward for the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians.

This was the message of Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber during the Successful Leaders in Conversation Series at the Fiji National University Lecture Theatre, Nasinu campus on Thursday.

Baber said being together for a longer period of time is the only way they could compete against Tier One nations in tournaments like the Rugby World Cup.

“I think the biggest challenge the Flying Fijians have against all other teams is that they are expected to compete even without spending time together as a team,” he said.

“Talent alone is not enough. The issue for me is time and for us to know is that they we’ve built a system that allows them to perform at these levels,” he said.

“As a coach if you think you are there you’re gone. You got to keep on the challenge, keep moving and doing things differently.

“That takes time, it has taken me three years to get here. What I know as a coach is to build a team over a period of time, take hits, learn from the hits and move on. I can’t see that change for Fiji Rugby in fifteens because the way World Rugby is set-up at the moment.

“Fiji is only going to get together once in four years’ time through a cycle prior to the World Cup. Whereas England, France and Wales will probably double the time to juggle because of the geography that they have and the ability to call those players in.”

Baber believes Fiji is not alone in the fight for time when it comes to preparing for the World Cup against the best in the world.

“We have super talents here it’s obvious but winning World Cup quarters and semi-finals are a lot more than just having talents.

“It’s’ how you are able to combine that and move forward, take challengers, overcome challenges, get highs in your games and stay consistent time after time,” he said.

“I don’t believe it’s the wrong type of game that we play, I believe it’s the lack of time spent with each other and the need to have influence on a group being together.

“Fiji needs to look at moving forward to get into those crucial stages of the World Cup. The warning sign is that we need more time together and we need to play in bigger competitions.

“It’s a huge problem and it’s even more evident in the South Pacific islands because we need each other to operate at those levels.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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