Baber’s new target: Making this season a winning one

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber. Picture: FT FILE/JONACANI LALAKOBAU

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach has set his target for the new sevens season starting with the 2018 Oceania Rugby 7s Championship in Suva in November.

And the former Hong Kong 7s coach has kept his selection doors wide open after scouting players at the Fiji National Rugby League 9s tournament held at Bidesi Ground in Suva last Saturday.

“There are a couple of boys that I am keeping my eyes on who play rugby union and league as well but also I would love the opportunity to train against the rugby league boys,” Baber said.

“It is heaps of learning for me and for the players and it makes them uncomfortable in a different way and that’s where their learning comes from.

“This is a good exercise for me to come down and have a look at the different talent.”

Baber said after the World Cup Sevens the players had taken time off after 13 months of training.

“They had the opportunity to recover and regenerate and this month is about getting them back in.

“They are training with their own local clubs and they will continue to do that for another two weeks. A lot of these are gym based, a lot of strength as they need to do that before we transition to running volumes.

“I want us to play in some local tournaments even though we don’t have as much local tournaments to focus on this year as this is an opportunity to get the players out.

“Now I am confident enough we can go out and play.” Baber added that it has been a challenging journey for him even though they didn’t reach their full potential. “I have look at myself and learn from something that I got right and also something that I got wrong.

“It hurts with all the scrutiny that you get as a coach on what you want and so many expectations from the Fijian fans and I understand that and I want to honour that every time I get an opportunity. “There are lot of learning that I have picked up and I want to make this season a winning season.”

Fiji won’t be taking part in the Central Coast 7s in Australia as they have cut down on their travel and focus more on local training.

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