SPORTS

Tuimaba’s Back-Up Plan

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games set for July 23 to August 8, next year, they have more than 12 months to do just that.
03 Apr 2020 13:23
Tuimaba’s Back-Up Plan
Fiji Airways Fijian 7s speedster Aminiasi Tuimaba. Photo: World Rugby

The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s coaching staff are working hard to add depth to the winger’s position.

With the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games set for July 23 to August 8, next year, they have more than 12 months to do just that.

This was confirmed to SUNsports by Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber, who is monitoring young wingers who have tonnes of speed and power.

Speaking to SUNsports, Baber said the early exit of the first choice winger Aminiasi Tuimaba in the Cup final of the USA 7s in Los Angeles rang a bell to his coaching staff to search for a back-up winger.

“Losing Tuimaba due to injury during the LA 7s was a huge blow for us because he is our go to man during attack and defence,” he said.

“Tuimaba has a lot of firepower that make him score tries from anywhere in the field.”

Baber said there were many players in the programme over the last couple of months, especially in the Fijian Under-20 and the Fijian Latui squads.

“So there are couple of players who I want to have a look at. I want to look at other players that can fill that role after those 7 to 8 minutes of the game,” he said.

“I want them to have an opportunity to come into a programme like ours and see what they can do without the pressure of having everybody talking about them.

“There is a few that I’m looking at so there are couple of young men as well who have been in and around our camp that I’m pushing.”

Young wingers who have been impressive are Jiuta Wainiqolo, Epeli Momo, Nacanieli Narekuva and the list goes on.

Baber hopes to rope these young players into the squad so they could back up Tuimaba and Alosio Naduva.

“Alosio Naduva does a specific job on the field. He is a great injection off the bench so we call him the second wave. Coming off the bench and he has done it numerous times for us and we’ve seen him win games for us.

“He provides physicality, the patience in finishing quality which is for me the best in the world.

“We don’t know what the Olympic team will look like. What I want to see is some young men who develop their rugby here in Fiji and have lived by the code of playing rugby in Fiji and developing into international rugby players.”

Edited by Naisa Koroi

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj

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