Coach Baber sounds 7s trumpet

World Rugby Sevens Player of the Year, Jerry Tuwai runs through the defence under the watchful eyes of head coach Gareth Baber during the Fiji Airways Fiji men's sevens team training session at Albert Park in Suva on Tuesday, November 19, 2019. Picture: JONACANI LALAKOBAU

PLAYERS wishing to be part of the Fiji 7s training squad will have to perform consistently in local tournaments to impress the selectors, says national 7s coach Gareth Baber.

Baber was at the Basic Homes-sponsored Tabadamu 7s tournament at Prince Charles Park in Nadi last Saturday.

He was impressed with some players who had been on the selection radar for the past few years.

He said the national training squad had a good training run at the Uprising Beach Resort ground last week which he considered as one of the toughest training sessions.

“If I add players to the group, it will be because they have performed well in local tournaments,” Baber said.

“So when they come in with us, they want to earn that white jersey which is usually important.”

There are injury concerns for inspirational Jerry Tuwai, Paula Dranisinikula and Isoa Tabu ahead of the Hamilton 7s in New Zealand next weekend.

Baber said they had a training squad of 24 players.

“We have a few injuries as well, which always means that some people will get their opportunity perhaps sooner than later.

“There is a process for them in terms of a plan, but players have worked well and under the guidance of Naca Cawanibuka in terms of their conditioning levels.

“It is important that we keep those boys going in that direction.”

Fiji is grouped with Argentina, Australia and Samoa in the New Zealand 7s in Hamilton next week.

Fiji defeated USA 36-0 in the final last year.

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