‘I want to be the best coach’

Fiji 7s team goes through their training run. Picture: SUPPLIED

Team Fiji men’s rugby 7s coach Gareth Baber has likened Fiji as his home and is taking on the challenge of not only improving the standard of the sport in the country but improving himself as a coach at every opportunity.

The Welshman took over from Ben Ryan who guided Fiji to the gold medal victory at the Rio Olympic Games in 2016.

Under Baber’s guidance, Fiji won the 2018-2019 World Rugby HSBC Sevens Series, was placed fourth at the Rugby World Cup 7s in 2018 and settled for the silver medal going down 0-14 to New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games in Australia in the same year.

Past month, Fiji won the gold medal at the PacificAus Sports Oceania 7s tournament in Australia. Baber said he would not be in this job if he didn’t want a challenge and did not see the challenges of improving him as a coach personally.

“Every opportunity I have, I want to be the best coach I can be,” he said.

“The more challenges there are, the more uncomfortable you are in then you become better certainly in this job.

“I think the challenges this year have been different, especially in a coach’s capacity. But that has made me look at how I coach.

“It has made me look at my management of players, ultimately having to stay ahead of the pandemic in that respect ensuring that I can plan correctly with the movement going on to what we need to do at the Olympics.”

Baber said he wants to do the best which means a lot for the people of Fiji.

“I think Fiji has become my home as well and there is nothing that we love more in Fiji than in seeing whatever team it may be either our brothers or sisters playing to win well and show the world what we can do as a nation,” he said.

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