29 November, 2017, 12:00 am
With just two days away from the start of the first tournament of the 2017/2018 HSBC Sevens World Series, fans around the globe are anticipating a thrilling year of rugby sevens, especially at the Commonwealth Games and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia.
Looking at the pre-tournament games, our sevens team participated in (Munich Sevens, Central Coast Sevens and the Silicon Sevens), if all Fiji matches were watched carefully there was a lot of concern in the defensive pattern which has carried on from last season and basic errors such as dropped balls, passing skills, rucks and kick-offs. In the Oceania Sevens, teams like New Caledonia and American Samoa made us run around like an ordinary team because of handling errors. The newbies in the Munich Sevens and Silicon Sevens showed they lacked basic skills, which makes us wonder what sort of training our sevens team is going through.
For the Dubai Sevens, we have a selection of seven forwards and five backs in the 12-men team.
It was good to see two Fijian Drua players in the team in the likes of John Stewart and Eroni Sau.
It would have been great to see Apete Daveta and Vasikeli Mudu in the team also.
Paula Dranisinukula still needs time before being exposed in the international scene as he still makes crucial errors under pressure.
I was surprised to see Samu Bale missing out as he played well in the roving position in the build-up tournaments abroad.
He is trying out Kalione Nasoko in the roving position. There are four playmakers in the team Jerry Tuwai, Vatemo Ravouvou, Aminoni Nasilasila and Waisea Nacuqu, instead he should have gone for three.
The coach might try Nacuqu on the wing, which is a bold move as seen in the recent Oceania Sevens. Nacuqu is a natural playmaker. He plays that position well and moving him to the wing is not a good option.
Baber is still searching for wingers ever since he joined the sevens team and it just makes me wonder whether we are short of natural speedy wingers in Fiji.
Teams like England, Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, Samoa have named powerful sides to compete in the first leg.
Gareth Baber by now must have done his homework to counter oppositions.
He should have gone for Apisai Domolailai, Jasa Veremalua, Kalione Nasoko, Vasikeli Mudu and Mesulame Kunavula in the forwards while Jerry, Nacuqu and Ravouvou in the halves, John Stewart and Samu Bale at rover and Eroni Sau and Apete Daveta on the wing.
Well that was my thought on the team.
Hoping the team does well when the dust settles in Dubai early on Sunday morning.