All Blacks Sevens, Fiji enjoy contrasting preparations for World Cup

Clark Laidlaw says it was important to find the balance when preparing his players for the Rugby World Cup Sevens. Picture source: 1 NEWS

AUCKLAND, 18 JULY 2018 (TVNZ) – The preparations of great sevens rivals New Zealand and Fiji for the Sevens World Cup are in stark contrast, with All Blacks Sevens coach Clark Laidlaw admitting time will tell whether his team’s approach was correct.

Laidlaw told 1 NEWS it was important to find the balance while preparing for this weekend’s Rugby World Cup Sevens rather than try to replicate an overseas camp like an extended Fiji squad had held in Utah.

“I suppose we’ll tell you on Sunday night whether we’re happy with what we’ve done but with such a big year and time away from home, we felt it was important to get the balance right between training and time at home with family and friends,” he said.

The other factor in Laidlaw’s decision not to hold any “flash camps” was the new centralised sevens programme in Tauranga.

“We’re centralised now so we train together every day so we didn’t feel we needed to go to any flash camps.”

“We had a couple days over in Raglan which suits us, we got a bit of training done over there so that was cool before we left on Friday (for San Francisco).”

Conversely, Gareth Baber, the coach of Olympic champions Fiji, hoped two weeks training at altitude would give his star-studded team a physical edge in the knockout tournament at sea level in San Francisco.

“We’re in a good training environment, there’s as little distraction around us, we have the training ground, we have a training gym, swimming pools, recovery centres – all the things that makes it easy,” Baber said last week.

Baber included Europe-based stars, Josua Tuisova, Leone Nakarawa, Semi Kunitani and former Eels star Semi Radradra in the 12-man squad.

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