Coach Baber confident there are other playmakers to replace Ravouvou
2 May, 2019, 9:15 am
FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber is confident that there are other players who can take over the playmaker role from 2016 Olympics gold medallist and fly-half Vatemo Ravouvou in the lead up to the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
Ravouvou was dropped from the national 7s squad earlier this year because of disciplinary issues and he has missed out on the remaining HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series.
The Nadi player has been offered a contract to play for the Utah Warriors in the United States.
He is expected to join his new club soon.
Baber said he was confident with his statement that there were talents in the country that can take over the playmaker position especially with the Olympics around the corner.
“I’m always looking for playmakers and trying to build them up to getting them into our program and developing them into international athletes,” said Baber.
Despite the missing key links in some of the positions in the Fiji 7s team, Baber banks on the talent of the local players that impress selectors in local tournaments.
“Vatemo was one of them, but he lost his way. He has a contract now and I wish him luck. There are players who can fill in his shoes and Livai Ikanikoda is a prime example showing the people of Fiji in local tournaments and selected from the Marist 7s and put into Hong Kong and Singapore and he has proved himself.”
Meanwhile, the players had their first team training session yesterday at the Albert Park in Suva as they prepare for the last leg of the series.
Fifteen players were available with the inclusion of new squad members such as Police Blue veteran Ratu Meli Kurisaru, speedster Rusiate Matai, Suliano Volivoli and Tabadamu fly-half Luke Lutunavanua.
Nippy scrum half Jerry Tuwai is back with the team but is under supervision by the team physio and had a separate session with captain Paula Dranisinukula.
Yet to join the team in training is Napolioni Ratu, Navosa brothers Sevuloni Moceinacagi and Isoa Tabu, and former captain Kalione Nasoko.
The team is gearing up for the last leg of the HSBC World Sevens Series in London from May 25-26 and the final tourney the Paris 7s between June 1-2.