OCEA­NIA 7S: P88

World Watch­ing Baber: Sir Gor­don

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Sir Gor­don Ti­et­jens knows the big chal­lenge new Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s coach Gareth Baber will go through in coach­ing the Olympic cham­pi­ons. Baber, who was ap­pointed as Fiji’s sev­ens coach last month, re­places Ben Ryan who won the World Sev­ens Se­ries back-to-back and gold at the Olympic Games in Brazil. Sir Gor­don said he knows that Baber will be un­der a lot of pres­sure to de­liver and that what he will ex­pe­ri­ence will be far dif­fer­ent from when he coached Wales and Hong Kong.

“They had a lot of in­ter­ested ap­pli­cants and the board has de­cided that he is the man for the job,” Sir Gor­don said. “He has a bit of sev­ens ex­pe­ri­ence as he has coached Wales and also coached Hong Kong.

“Com­ing to Fiji is ob­vi­ously go­ing to be a lot dif­fer­ent and be a big chal­lenge for him coach­ing the Olympic cham­pi­ons.

“There is go­ing to be a lot of pres­sure and big ex­pec­ta­tions and I know this be­cause I have had that for 22 years coach­ing the New Zealand sev­ens team.” He said the world will be watch­ing Baber and the ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers on the team will likely step up to help.

“It will be a tough chal­lenge for him but I am sure that the Fiji boys will help out,” he said. “The team has enough se­nior or ex­pe­ri­enced play­ers that will look after their side of things.”

Baber will of­fi­cially take up his coach­ing po­si­tion when he ar­rives in Fiji in Jan­uary, next year. Edited by Osea Bola

Sir Gor­don Ti­et­jens on the side­line at the ANZ Sta­dium, Suva yes­ter­day.

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