Olympic 7s : Baber will consider overseas players

Fiji Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber. Picture: FT FILE

FIJI Airways Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber will not turn a blind eye to overseas-based players in his selection to defend the gold medal at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.

Baber with a vastly young brigade took out the 2018/2019 HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title after strong back to back performances in London and Paris.

With the Olympics just more than a year away, a host of young local-based players have made their mark in the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and are strong contenders to make it to Tokyo.

Baber confirmed the players in the squad will be retained for the next series because they had put themselves in that position.

“You have to look at those qualities in pressure situations and how they learn and regroup and travel as a group,” he said.

“They have been ably led by the likes of Paula (Dranisinukula) and Josua (Vakurinabili), Jerry (Tuwai) and Waisea (Nacuqu).

“These are the boys who have been in the series previously. You have couple of boys here who have the potential to put their hands up as well so I’m always looking for talent.

“I’m not blind to what is overseas and obviously the Rugby World Cup is coming up so we will be looking at some of those players.”

The national squad members have been given a break and will return to camp after a few weeks in preparation for the Pacific Games in Samoa next month.

“The boys will get a break now and they need to be back with their families after the sacrifices they have made over the two and half years and not only the last eight months,” Baber said.

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