SPORTS

Baber Happy With 7s Progress

With a good mix of young and old, Baber believes it will create more opportunities to prepare players for the new 2019-20 World Sevens Series which starts in Dubai next month.
07 Nov 2019 11:47
Baber Happy With 7s Progress
The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team for the Oceania Rugby 7s Championship which starts today at the ANZ Stadium, Suva. Front: (from left) Napolioni Bolatolu, Filimoni Botitu. Middle: Simione Kuruvoli, Apenisa Cakaubalavu, Waisea Nacuqu, Rusiate Matai. Back: Sevuloni Mocenacagi, Terio Tamani, Meli Derenalagi, Isoa Tabu,Aminiasi Tuimaba, Kavekini Tabu, Josua Vakurunabili. Photo: Ronald Kumar

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber is focused on making continuous progress within the team.

He made the comment after naming players to take part in the 2019 Oceania Rugby Sevens Championship which starts at the ANZ Stadium, Suva today and the Darwin 7s next weekend.

With a good mix of young and old, Baber believes it will create more opportunities to prepare players for the new 2019-20 World Sevens Series which starts in Dubai next month.

“The main aim is to keep the depth in team and keep the team going,” Baber said

“It gives an opportunity to some young men out there who have just come into the sevens environment and learning what it means to be here and see what is the next step.

“And having them compete in such tournament will allow them to get experience and learning.

“I am really pleased the number of progression we have made over the last two years and I am looking forward to seeing how the challenges are met by the others.

“That the reason why I make the decision why players stick to the environment or not.”

The Welshman also said despite the tough pool contenders he is confident to retain the title yet again this year.

“My intention is to win the tournament. So I have a standard set for these players to compete and adapt to,” Baber said

“What I want to see is as we travel through the tournament in any obstacles that we come across can be inevitable and we manage them correctly, learn and keep progressing.

“It will be equally tough competition against New Zealand who has come here with an intention of winning the title and we are great competitors and we also know that it will be more like a physical match for us.

“And fortunately over the last couple of years we have managed to overcome them but we know it always a challenge for all the team in the world that is why as a nation there are regarded as the world’s best.

“We know it’s going to be tough playing against all the team in our pool. But we go to keep pushing forward and playing our best game.

“Some people expect to see a whole young team I don’t necessary believe in that as I believe in giving opportunities to our players to form partnerships and understand how the game is played and having some senior players around them and being able to do that and get into the system.”

Darwin 7s

“There is a team by the name of Stallions who contacted us to compete at the Darwin 7s and going to support players who is going over to play.

“We feel blessed to be in that position and its good tournament and there will be good teams from Australia and New Zealand so I think to travel overseas for these boys who haven’t done it before is another learning experience.

“Josateki Savou will be leading the team to Darwin.”

Oceania 7s squad: 1Sevuloni Mocnacagi, 2 Josua Vakurunabili, 3 Isoa Tabu, 4 Kavekini Tabu, 5 Apenisa Cakaubalavu, 6 Ratu Meli Derenalagi, 7 Filimoni Botitu, 8 Waisea Nacuqu, 9 Terio Tamani, 10 Napolioni Bolaca, 11 Aminiasi Tuimaba, 12 Rusiate Matai, 13 Simione Kuruvoli.

Darwin 7s squad: 1.Asaeli Tuivuaka, Anasa Qaranivalu, Veniona Vuki, Livai Ikanikoda, Tevita Mociu and Kameli Rasaku, Assistant Coach- Joe Savou.

Edited by Osea Bola

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