Low injury rate says Baber

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s warming up before the game against USA at the HSBC Paris 7s last weekend. Coach Gareth Baber will name his training squad of 16 that will prepare for the Rugby World Cup Sevens next month. Picture:PAULINE KOYAMAIBOLE

THE national men’s sevens rugby team has had a low injury rate and efforts have been made to ensure players were not fatigued in the lead up to the Rugby World Cup 7s next month.

“Both the medical and coaching staff have worked all year to ensure that we do exactly this and not overload the players, especially considering the competition load,” Fiji Airways Fiji 7s Coach Gareth Baber said.

“Testament to this management is the fact that we have had such a low injury rate. Some injuries cannot be avoided but it takes good management, year long, to ensure that players do not pick up overuse issues.”

Baber is expected to announce a training squad of 16 and eventually select his 12 member squad for the Rugby World Cup 7s in San Francisco.

The national side is expected to have a few days rest before they march into camp.

The team will also spend two weeks in Utah where they will have altitude training before they travel to San Francisco for the RWC 7s.

This year’s RWC 7s is different with a ruthless tournament format where every match counts.

There are 24 teams but the top  eight seeds- South Africa, Fiji, New Zealand, England, USA, Australia, Argentina and Scotland go straight to the second round of competition where 16 teams play off.

The winner of the Rugby World Cup would be a team that has never been defeated in the tournament.

Scotland will face the winner of the match between Tonga and Kenya.

South Africa will play the winner of the match between Ireland and  Chile.

The winners from these two matches will meet in the first quarterfinal match.

England will play the winner of the match between Samoa and Uganda.

USA will play the winner of the match between Wales and Zimbabwe.

The winners of these two matches will play in the second quarterfinal.

Argentina will play the winner of the winner of the match between Wales and Zimbabwe.

Fiji will play the winner of the match between  Uruguay and Japan.

The winners of these two matches will play in the third quarterfinal.

Australia will play the winner of the match between France and Jamaica.

New Zealand will play the winner of the match between Russia and Hong Kong.

The winner of these two matches will play in the last quarterfinal.

The winner of the first quarterfinal and the second quarterfinal will play in the first semi final.

The second semi final will be between the winners of the other two quarterfinals.

Barring any upsets and if all falls according to seeding, it will be a Fiji-New Zealand semifinal while number one seed South Africa will play fourth seed England in the second semi final.

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