Baber: They are heroes

Rooie of the Year Meli Derenalagi runs away from the New Zealand defence in the final of the Paris 7s. Picture: Martin Seras Lima


That was the description for our Fiji Airways Fiji 7s national team by coach Gareth Baber after they won the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title in Paris after beating USA 33-14 in the semi-final at Stade Jean-Bouin.

The team had everything going against them in the lead-up to the match. Fiji had only 10 men in the semi-final with Waisea Nacuqu and Apenisa Cakaubalavu injured and Nacanieli Bolaca on a one-match suspension.

“I thought this weekend we were excellent in everything we did,” Baber said after the semi-final.

“We have taken injury after injury, we were down to 10 men, there was the suspension and we just managed that game against USA.”

Baber said their target this year was to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympic Games and finish the series as No.1 in the world.

“To achieve that today (yesterday) speaks volumes of the boys who have been involved, not just the boys who are here but the boys who have played in other tournaments,” Baber said.

He also thanked the support and sacrifices from the players’ families and supporters in Fiji and the Fiji Rugby Union.

Fiji is now the top seed to the Olympic Games.

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