Polishing the game style and maintaining control of the ball are key focal points for Head Coach Baber as he puts the finishing touches on preparations for game one of the Rugby World Cup 7s, to be played on Saturday afternoon, Fiji time.
“We’re looking at game intensity, how we incorporate this balance of speed and power into our game and how we can put our threats onto the field” he said.
“Naturally we have evasion, speed of movement and pace, and we want to have the ability to play at the height of speed that we like to play.”
“It’s also important to look closely at the methods we use to control possession and strike against opponents.”
Fiji’s talented 12 man team is packed with x-factor and Baber is clearly ready to use that mix across the tournament.
“Every player is somewhat of a utility player when you’ve only got 7 on the park so you need to have all jobs covered.” said Baber.
“If I was sitting in the changing room at the moment, ready to play against us, looking at the balance across those 12 players, I’d be scratching my head trying to figure out how to contain them.”
Baber’s squad have been hard at work in the USA for the past two weeks and fans can be excited by who they will see in the white jersey come Saturday.
“No one likes playing against any of the boys in our squad, we know that, we have such a variety of threats across the field” he said.
“With Semi (Radradra), we saw in London what he can bring, he creates a huge amount of energy, and he has got great distribution skills which will bring good width in our game”.
“Vatemo (Ravouvou), Amenoni (Nasilasila) and Jerry (Tuwai) can manipulate defenders in the middle of the field and the work horses Paula (Dranisinikula), Semi (Kunatani), Sevu (Mocenacagi) and Jasa (Veremelua) doing their jobs are formidable”.
“Leone (Nakarawa) brings a particular style and can do some things better than anyone else like carrying the ball, winning kick offs and causing the opposition problems when he gets hold of them and we dont have the ball.“
“Kali is a great footballer, who has a good understanding of the game, is physical, sleek and powerful, a back who can play in the forwards.”
“Alasio and Josh Tuisova provide two different attacking options on the edges of the field.”
“I’ve been amazed at how complete a player Josua Tuisova actually is just working with him in his skills, his understanding of the game, his reading of the game defensively and his physicality.”
“Alasio is also trained at half-back and has been showing his brilliance at training the last couple of weeks.”
With the pressure of a knock out tournament looming, arguably more valuable than rugby talent will be the mental and leadership skills of the players within the Fijian squad.
“We’ve spoken to Leone about his role within the team. There is a leadership element, it is no secret that his time in Europe has allowed him to develop as an individual”
“Alongside Jerry, Jasa, Paula and Vatemo, who all very much bring those additional leadership qualities, we’ve got some great maturity in the mix.”