With 12 days until the Hamilton 7s, the battle for selection is intensifying for the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s.
Following a gruelling and constructive Christmas training block, a near full contingent are fiercely contesting a spot in the team for the NZ and Sydney tournaments.
Baber said the squad has been working hard to address areas which were exposed during the Dubai and Cape Town 7s last month.
“We have been doing a lot of drills in training and making sure players are getting it right” he said.
Fijian 7s Head Coach Gareth Baber has reassured fans that Ratu Meli Derenalagi is fit and is working hard to earn a place in the 13-men traveling squad, despite rumored reports of an injury to the Nawaka lad.
“I’m not sure where those reports (of Derenelagi) came from, he’s in there with the players, doing the work, to be ready for Hamilton.”
With Captain Paula Dranisinukula set to miss the next legs with a hand injury, Baber will have another decision to make on who will wear the Captain’s badge in Hamilton.
“There are some options in my mind, but I want to train all of them to be leaders on the field” said Baber.
“Tuwai is a natural leader, and Derenalagi did captain the side in the last leg” he said.
“We will make the decision closer to the tournament.”
In another positive news from the Fijian camp, power forward Kalione Nasoko is progressing strongly with his knee rehab and is hoping to make a dream return by the Hong Kong 7s in March.
His return will be a huge boost to the team’s stocks for the second half of the HSBC World Sevens Series and of course, Olympics preparations.
The Fiji Airways Fijian 7s are pooled in Hamilton with Argentina, Australia and Samoa in Pool D.
They take on Samoa in their opening match at 12.47pm on Saturday week.
They then meet Australia at 6.35pm before facing Argentina at 11.57am next Sunday.
The semi-finals will be held from 3.20pm while the final is scheduled for 7.56pm.