30 March, 2018, 12:00 am
THE hopes of the nation rests on the shoulders of the gallant Fiji Airways Fiji 7s players who departed the country yesterday in their bid to create another piece of history at the HSBC Hong Kong 7s tournament.
Armed with 16 of Fiji’s finest 7s players, the side will be chasing its fourth consecutive 7s title at the mecca of 7s.
Head coach Gareth Baber said the players were aware of the fans’ expectation and would give their best for the country.
“There is always pressure on the team, they are Fijians, they are representing their country,” he said.
“They play with all their hearts and their souls to make sure they can bring joy to the Fijian public and the glory of God.”
Baber said it would be a hard task to select the first 13 players to feature at So Kon Po Stadium.
He said the inclusion of warhorse Isake Katonibau and Rio Olympics gold medallists Samisoni Viriviri and Semi Kunatani would add depth to the side. Baber said he would give all players the opportunity for the Hong Kong and the Commonwealth Games.
“I have brought in a couple of senior leadership players in the likes of Sami (Viriviri) and Ice (Katonibau) who have been to Hong Kong before.
“So the group is solid and they know they gonna have challenges and they are going to be tested. I have seen that from the majority boys that are here and I wanted it to continue.”
Fiji will face Russia, Samoa and New Zealand in the Hong Kong Pool games.