High standard – Baber wants a national team in the series

National 7s coach Gareth Baber speaks to the media at Sigatoka yesterday as teams get ready for the start of the 2021 Super 7s Series this morning. Picture: BALJEET SINGH

Fiji sevens head coach Gareth Baber expects the Super 7s Series to set a high standard which will enable players to perform consistently in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and the Olympics.

Baber has given the concept which kicks off at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka today his thumbs up.

He said the important thing was to immediately get the top 16 teams in the country playing against each other.

“It always has been my intention to utilise what we have got here in Fiji which is the quality of rugby and the number of club teams that are playing 7s,” he said.

“You get the strength of that quality through the pool games to the quarter-finals and the semi-finals. And you get that across a period of time, in two, three, four, whatever the legs that there are.

“At the moment this series is put up by the Fiji Rugby Union and we are looking for sponsors to help us to drive it.

“It is imperative really in relation to the preparations for the Olympics that the players we have here can’t go overseas to play international rugby as they challenge for their positions.”

The players who are part of the national sevens extended squad have been released for the Super 7s Series.

Baber said he would like to see a national side playing in the local tournaments as well.

“There is intention at some stage but then we are mapping this out.

“Since this is a difficult year and what we will go through in the next six, seven months is finding how we can recreate that competition to set that standard.

“Ultimately I need us to play as the Fijian team as well. We will be looking at that later on probably in April and May,” Baber said.

“We get to a stage that when we get those combinations that those players have shown in tournaments here and they get a chance to really hone those skills and those relationships and go on and play at the Olympics.

“Ultimately what I want to see the referees, coaches and players here at the FRU is for the standard to move up all the time in sevens and that we keep the pressure on.

“I know if we can get that right in a period of time, that is what drives consistency.

“Obviously that’s what is needed, to go and perform game after game in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series or the Olympics.”

The opening round of 2021 Super 7s Series starts at 9am today at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.


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