Race for 7s positions

Rajnesh Ishwar Lingam Nadawa, Nasinu | Wednesday, September 13, 2017
WITH only one win under his belt since coming in as our national 7s coach, I urge the Welshman not to leave any stone unturned as the Vodafone Fiji 7s team gets ready for the 2017-18 WRSS, starting in Dubai and Cape Town.
Fiji National 7s coach Gareth Baber speaks to his players during a training earlier this year. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA
Fiji National 7s coach Gareth Baber speaks to his players during a training earlier this year. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

Gareth has not had the best season, but I am confident that better days are looming for the former Hong Kong 7s mentor.

Already under negative criticism, Baber needs a big turnaround to win hearts and restore fan faith in his coaching strategies as we prepare for the Commonwealth Games and RWC 7s despite the departure of Kolinisau, Vici, Nagusa and Bituniyata.

Baber has been with the extended squad and taking them through a tough hit-out focusing on mental strength, fitness, endurance and volume of work.

This is after our boys completed eight solid weeks of gym work that focused on their strength.

It is a pity that speed merchant Samisoni Viriviri nicknamed 'Samisoni very very fast' by rugby commentators has been dropped from the 7s squad with reasons known best to Baber.

Baber has indicated that some prominent players needed to work hard to retain their spots as the squad was laced with many talented new boys.

In last Thursday's The Fiji Times, former All Blacks 7s coach, World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and current Samoa 7s coach Sir Gordon Tietjens has thrown his support behind Baber and he was optimistic that Baber had what it took to continue from where Ryan left off with our 7s team.

I have been watching the 7s series since its inception in 1999 and the series has grown tremendously.

Fiji needs to step up and not rest its laurels on reputation and the fact that we are Olympic gold medallists.

My best wishes to Gareth Baber and our 7s team as they prepare to kick start the 2017-18 WRSS.

Toso Viti!

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