New players likely to join national 7s team

The Fiji Airways Fiji 7s team give thanks after their first pool match against Sscotland at the HSBC USA 7s in Las Vegas. Picture: JOVESA NAISUA

WE could see more players joining the national sevens rugby team as coach Gareth Baber tries to find the best team for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games.

“I think all of us are looking at points now that we can improve,” Baber said.

This weekend saw 18 players on making their debut at the HSBC Las Vegas 7s.

Baber said most coaches would like to have their players gain experience in the harsh climate that the international rugby sevens is  in Las Vegas.

“Whether they progress them on and be in the Olympic team is no guarantee, we have to see them under pressure.

“And if they are new debutantes you have to see them in the reality of quarterfinals and semi-finals and that’s what we would be pushing.”

Baber called in two new players for this leg of the series- Isoa Tabu and Asaeli Tuivoka.

Tabu came in as a reserve in both of Fiji’s matches at the Sam Boyd Stadium yesterday.

However, to have the best team at the Olympics and with some players leaving the team at the end of the season, Baber will need to scout for more players.

“I am keenly aware that players leave us at the end of the season,” Baber said.

“It is my job now to see how I can up skill other players coming into our program.

“I’ve got to try and identify those ones that in the long term would produce what needs to be produced in an Olympic Games.

“It’s a tough task in a year and a half, when you obviously need about a three year period but it’s the market that we live in.

“I’m not the only that is dealing with that,” Baber said.

He added that the number of players making their debut showed the reality of how coaches and teams were trying to get their players gain more experience.

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