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7s focus

Zanzeer Singh
Wednesday, February 07, 2018

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber expects the side to maintain consistency in the next few tournaments in their bid to win a fourth HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title.

The national side has moved up to third place after winning the New Zealand 7s tournament in Hamilton on Sunday.

Victory was sweet for Baber who has been under a lot of pressure since taking up the challenge after Fiji's Olympic gold medal win in Rio in 2016.

Baber said they were in a good position at halfway in the series but still had a lot of work to do.

"We are in third place which is a good position," he said.

"We have played some great stuff but there are areas that we need to tidy up.

"We will see the videos of the games. I don't believe in being complacent in how we play the game.

"We are going to prove ourselves. The players will get a couple of days off this week and they will come back on Thursday.

"This is a recovery week. The boys need to look after themselves. Drink the right things, stay off the alcohol, which will be a big win for us because the body needs to recover and the mind needs to recover.

"We launch again next Tuesday going out to Las Vegas early and looking at putting up good performances in Vegas and Vancouver."

Baber already has a core group of players in his squad but hasn't ruled out scouting for other talents as well.

Army winger Alusio Naduva, one of the newcomers in the squad, starred in the New Zealand 7s final against South Africa scoring three tries.

"We need to keep consistency in how we play," Baber said.

"We can play some great stuff but we played some ordinary stuff in Sydney. We didn't do that so much in Hamilton. There were moments within games where we lost our way but found our way back.

"There is a new group of players. Some guys are only professional players for the last six months.

"Some of the nations have professional players for four or five years. We know we can beat anybody in the world when we are on top. But we have to be consistent the way we are as Fijians with our lives to prepare.

"We have a number of new faces. There are up to 22, 23 players. We have to give the opportunity to the players who are doing it.

"We saw Naduva perform in the final. But that doesn't come overnight. Naduva has been with us for the past six months. He has worked hard and worked his way up. He can now take up the hits and he delivered on the weekend.

"I'm always on the lookout for new talents. I went to the Coral Coast 7s and saw four or five players there. I will look at them coming into training with us. But if they think they can make it straight into international rugby — it would be a bit too soon for them. I need them to be in camp and I need to work with them. We need to see them develop and grow into the international level."

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