7s sets target

"The Sledgehammer" Eroni Sau by the poolside after a hectic training session at the Royal Pines Resort grounds in Carrara, Gold Coast, Australia. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

"The Sledgehammer" Eroni Sau by the poolside after a hectic training session at the Royal Pines Resort grounds in Carrara, Gold Coast, Australia. Picture: ELIKI NUKUTABU

AFTER the Hong Kong 7s victory, the Fiji 7s team has set a goal to win back to back events with the 2018 Commonwealth Games 7s competition starting today at the Robina Stadium in Gold Coast, Australia.

The players are now focusing on winning the country’s first Commonwealth Games 7s gold medal tomorrow.

Baber said the expectations were always high and they would be out to deliver for the nation and its people who have high hopes of the 7s gladiators returning home with a gold medal.

“If you are a rugby player or come from Fiji you always have some expectation from the team in every match,” Baber said.

“The players are used to the winning in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series, Olympic Games or even the World Cup and Commonwealth Games will be no exception and we know what Fiji is here to deliver.

“We are fortunate and blessed to be in a position to represent Fiji and the people back at home. As the group we have decided to potentially do two back to back tournaments and that is a huge goal. Every team will be looking at to stop us from doing that but that is the battle you have when you come to the international tournaments.”

Baber said the players had done the country proud in the past years despite the challenges and obstacles they had been facing.

“I don’t think rugby has possibly changed in Fiji over the past 100 years in terms with way the players play rugby in Fiji and that is really what the connection is with me. I am really blessed to be in the position and see what it means and rugby is social glue which pulls everyone together,” he said.

“The players are very humble and we talk about humility a lot and at times the players do not understand actually what they have achieved. The obstacles have prevented them from having what the rest of the world has in terms of the resources and finances and they are doing well and doing well for the country.

“In the villages, the players do not have kicking posts, indoor facilities, gym and swimming facilities and what they do is whatever they find from the piece of grassland or the mud they play rugby on it and the stuff you see is exactly what you see internationally.”

Fiji plays Sri Lanka today at 1.21pm before taking on Uganda at 7.53pm. Fiji then plays Wales in the final pool match at 11.33pm.