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I have a job to do

Maikeli Seru In Hamilton, New Zealand
Thursday, February 01, 2018

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber is determined to continue to lead our national side despite the shortfalls in results in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.

With Hamilton hosting the New Zealand tournament of the series for the first time this weekend, the former Hong Kong head coach said he was determined to continue.

Disgruntled Fijian rugby fans have started hurling attacks at the former Wales international because Fiji, the Olypmpics champion, has not won any tournament in this series.

"In every job you will have critics," he said after the team's morning training session at the Marist Rugby Club grounds at Hamilton yesterday.

"The big thing is that this is a new group of players and not the same group who came to New Zealand last year. This is not the group of players who finished the series last year and we have Jerry Tuwai and Jasa Veremalua and they have been playing 30-40 tournaments. We have players who played their first tournament last week.

"It is a huge challenge which goes on with learning something all the time. We talked about jelling and they do make mistakes along the way and we need the support of the Fijian public."

"There is a job to do and I understand the responsibility. We are working our socks up and we are not taking anything for granted.

"I am hurting and the boys are hurting I am going to continue on because I have a job to do."

The team, meanwhile had two training sessions yesterday working on kick-off and retun possession, and defence.

With Hamilton hosting for the first time, Fijians in New Zealand turned up in numbers at the grounds to support the team.

Hamilton Fijian community president Ravulolo Tagivetaua said Fijians in New Zealand were expected to spill into Waikato this weekend to support the team.

"We greeted the team on Monday when they arrived and we told them 'We support you wether you lose or win. Whatever your result, remember that we are your family because we are all Fijians.

"Fijians should support. Critics do not play. If they want to criticise they should come and play because they do not know how hard it is to play. We do not want to be negative. This is our national side and we should support it."

The players, meanwhile, will be guests at the Woodstock Primary School this morning as the teams in the series have a day-off today for some public visitations before another day of training tomorrow.

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