SPORTS

Baber Hints Of Staying On As Our 7s Coach To The 2024 Olympic Games

“I think Fiji Rugby, (Fiji National) Sports Commission and Government as well, know that we need a quality coach and if that is me then great! But if it’s not and there is another avenue for me. I’ve still got my contract to the end of this year.”
05 Sep 2021 14:49
Baber Hints Of Staying On As Our 7s Coach To The 2024 Olympic Games
Fiji Airways Fijian men’s 7s head coach Gareth Baber.

Fiji Airways Fijian 7s men’s head coach Gareth Baber has hinted that he is willing to stay as coach and lead our campaign to the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.

With his contract coming to an end in December, Baber who coached the men’s sevens team to win the gold medal at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games in Japan, has other things in mind.

That is next year’s Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England and Sevens Rugby World Cup in South Africa.

The Fijians have never won the Commonwealth Games gold medal but twice have lifted the Sevens World Cup title.

Speaking to FRU Media, Baber said, that he has what it takes to get Fiji ready for the next mission.

“I know what needs to be done in that period of time,” Baber said.

“I think Fiji Rugby, (Fiji National) Sports Commission and Government as well, know that we need a quality coach and if that is me then great! But if it’s not and there is another avenue for me. I’ve still got my contract to the end of this year.”

Baber said there is nothing concrete yet about his contract but it is important that it’s done right.

“I’m writing my report at the moment and speaking regularly with Fiji Rugby chief executive officer John O’Connor.

“With COVID going on at the moment and its challenges, there are questions coming up in the head. I will have to make a decision soon both from FRU perspective and my own perspective.”

Baber said he had many great times in Fiji.

“I love everything about our nation,” he added.

Tough moment

The Welshman revealed that the toughest moment for him was losing his captain Paula Dranisinukula heading into the Olympic Games.

“I was absolutely gutted to see Paula leave the side during our preparations for the Olympics.

“I visited Paula. He advised me that he had to leave rugby and concentrate on his responsibilities and obligations as a father who wants to provide and look after his family for the next 10 to 15 years.

“With Dranisinukula leaving, Kalione Nasoko being injured and an uncertain Jerry Tuwai who had received a lucrative deal in the US,

“I was running out of experienced players so the thought of resetting the team came. Paula could have well and truly been our gold medal winning captain if he was to be part of the team.”

Edited by Leone Cabenatabua

Feedback: simione.haravanua@fijisun.com.fj



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