NEW 7S COACH GARETH BABER
PICKS RUPENI CAUCAU
Newly appointed Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber has played against our national reps including sevens legend Waisale Serevi. But the Welshman rates speedster Rupeni Caucau as the one who has impressed him over the years. “I don’t think I could name just one because there are so many,” Baber said. “So many legendary players have come out of Fiji, Serevi, William Ryder, Joe Rokocoko, Tomasi Cama, Mesake Rasari, Noa Nadruku “Fiji has thrown up some unbelievable talent over the past 20 years. But one of my special memories for Wales was playing against Rupeni Caucau in the Wales leg of the World Sevens Series. “I have never seen a player move so fast but look like he was doing nothing. He is quite a special player.” Baber, who will take up the coaching role before the Wellington 7s in January, has been closely monitoring the Fijian players. And he will add more names to the list to the current extended squad who return to camp at the Uprising Beach Resort tomorrow.
“I am hoping that there will be a few new names to add to this list this season as well,” Baber said
He said he is looking to relocate to Fiji in January.
“I’ve played in Fiji in what I believe was the forerunner to the Coral Coast Sevens back in 1995-96,” he said. “We ended up playing the whole tournament in a typhoon.
“I still have great memories of a fantastic time with some very lovely people.
“Eventually I want my family to join me and experience life in Fiji but at the moment with the kids still in their school term they will stay in Hong Kong in the shortterm.” Baber played for Wales in the World Series over a period of six seasons and played in two Commonwealth Games and two Sevens Rugby World Cups. He coached Wales on the World Series and then Hong Kong Sevens winning two Asian Series titles and a silver medal in the Asian Games. He also had seven years as coach with the Cardiff Blues winning the European Challenge Cup and the EDF Cup. “I have played and coached sevens against Fiji previously several times,” Baber said. “To be honest there were not a lot of positive memories. “I was a proud Welshman when we once beat the Fijians at the London Sevens Cup quarterfinals at Twickenham.”
Newly appointed Vodafone Fijian 7s head coach Gareth Baber.