Canada 7s: Fiji 7s camp faces injury crisis; coach optimistic

Coach Gareth Baber and captain Kalione Nasoko were presented with a gift from the Canada Fijian Community. Photo: HSBC Canada Sevens

THE Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team coach Gareth Baber will keep his fingers crossed hoping that his injured players will be able to hold the fort this weekend as they defend the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title at the Vancouver 7s tournament in Canada.

After a sixth-place finish in the Las Vegas last weekend, the team suffered areas of concern that kept Baber on the edge of his seat wondering on the outcome of the medical analysis.

Former team captain Jerry Tuwai suffered a minor ankle injury after the semi-final against South Africa, Filimoni Botitu was hindered with a backache from a massive blow from the opposition and Paula Dranisinukula ruptured his calf.

“Preparation is going on well but we had a few problems with Jerry’s ankle and Botitu’s back that got smashed in a tackle so a bit of concern with them but the medical analysis worked with them and put them where they need to be and they trained yesterday with us which was good but we had some intense physio on Tuesday and Wednesday.”

“All the team was training yesterday (Thursday) inclusive of Paula who had a contusion on a scarf and these were from Las Vegas last weekend which was disappointing but all three players have come through.

Despite the absence of playmaker Waisea Nacuqu, the team will improvise on what they have and give their opponents a good run tomorrow.

“The loss of Nacuqu was a big hit to us but I thought Botitu did particularly well and Teri Tamani as well in the tournament in Las Vegas,” said Baber.

“Even though we didn’t get it all right but again it’s more exposure for the two players especially for Botitu for playing out of position from rover to playmaker and I will continue with that in the weekend.”

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