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7s new find

Maikeli Seru
Monday, January 22, 2018

FIJI will soon see another rugby 7s gem in the Fiji Airways 7s team in the Sydney 7s this weekend.

While some continue to cast doubt on our return to winning ways, national coach Gareth Baber continues to work hard to build the perfect combination.

He had to start from square one after most Olympians secured overseas contracts, but he said there's a surprise element for our Sydney 7s foes.

He is about to unleash another Fijian star.

"We have new players such as Alosio Naduva who is a little diamond. He is at it all the time and works hard in training. He shows the character of the individual when he is on the field. He is a small man, yet he plays 10 times the person," Baber said.

"There is Eroni Sau and Apete Daveta and people will be excited when you see them go. Be patient, but we have quality individuals who can certainly play a level of excellence in the Fiji jersey."

Baber's work was made difficult with the omission of Olympians Vatemo Ravouvou and Apisai Domolailai and Fiji Airways Drua sensation John Sterwart because of disciplinary reasons.

Now Jerry Tuwai and Jasa Veremalua have to step up to plug all loopholes.

"There will be a lot on Jerry's hands, but we work very hard in sharing the leadership in the group. We need a captain who can call the shots when it is tough, but we also need people in position who lead when they need to lead. One of the best we have had recently is Amenoi Nasilasila, who was man of the tournament in South Africa. To have a backline player to make 28 to 30 tackles in a game is phenomenal.

"Fiji can score when on top of the tree, and we need people like Amenoni who work hard and is a tough individual who can stop oppositions from scoring. And we have people like Jasa whose leadership quality is to drive other players on."

Baber expects exciting results in the Oceania leg of the series.

"I expect to win, yes. It will be tough, but we are going to win. That's how we trained and on the levels we train at. We weren't far away in Dubai where we met South Africa twice and been noted in the referee's decision in the second game. I am pleased that we have learned. If we reproduce that form in Sdney, we will win.

"We have trained ourselves to that in the past two to three weeks and the boys are now hitting the positive mark."

Baber said ill discipline would not be tolerated.

He commended some youngsters who showed top form in the weekend's Mana Whey Fiji Coral Coast Sevens at Lawaqa Park, Sigatoka.

"There were some young talents, some 19 and 20-year-olds who are with us and they played. I am happy because it will be good for the longevity of the program and the players who improve are potential for this year and the Commonwealth Games.

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