21st November 09:04 AM
We've been working on our defence structure regardless of who we meet this weekend - Baber
By Save Waqa
Saturday 21/07/2018
Fiji 7s team training session

We have been working on our defence structure regardless of who we meet this weekend.

These were the sentiments of the Fiji Airways Men’s National 7s Coach Gareth Baber following their last training run with the team in San Francisco.

Baber adds that the team has been playing warm-up matches against Chile in the week which has been helping them execute their style of play.

Baber says the team’s recovery has been good as the players are well and healthy for game day.

He adds that either team that qualifies between Japan and Uruguay will meet Fiji and they are ready.

Baber will decide on his starting lineup for the first Rugby World Cup 7s knockout game against the winner of the Japan vs Uruguay match today.

Fiji will play their first knockout game at 3.53pm today against the winner of the Japan and Uruguay match.

Barring any upsets, they will either meet Argentina or Canada in the Cup quarterfinals.

The Cup quarters start at 10.32am tomorrow.

Fiji will either meet Australia or New Zealand in the Cup semifinals.

The Cup semis start at 7.40am Monday and Fiji will either meet South Africa, England or USA in the Final at 12.49pm Monday.

Meanwhile, reigning Rugby World Cup 7s champions in both the men’s and women’s New Zealand are aiming to take back‑to‑back titles for the first time in the history of the tournament this weekend.

All Blacks co‑captain Tim Mikkelson, player of the tournament at the 2013 World Cup says there are similarities between the team in San Francisco and the team that won the last title in Moscow.

Fiji born New Zealand 7s players are in the team this year which include Jona Nareki, Salesi Rayasi, Joe Ravouvou and Akuila Rokolisoa.

Like New Zealand, Japan has also named four Fijian players in its Rugby 7s World Cup team.

The four are Kameli Soejima, Jone Naikabula, Jo Lilidamu and Jo Seru. Soejima, Lilidamu and Naikabula have already represented Japan in the series, while Seru will make his debut against Uruguay in San Francisco today.

Should Japan win, these Fijian players will have to face the Fiji 7s team in the do‑or‑die pool game.

The United States welcome back speedster Perry Baker who scored 37 tries in the Series before missing the last two legs through injury and will form an exciting attacking partnership with danger man Carlin Isles, who was the top try scorer for the 2018 season with 49 tries.

Six players will be appearing at the Rugby World Cup Sevens for the third time and these include James Rodwell (England), Manoel Dall Igna (France), Collins Injera (Kenya), Alatasi Tupou (Samoa), Scott Riddell (Scotland) and Philip Snyman (South Africa).

Retired Fiji 7s legend Waisale Serevi is the only player to have appeared in four Rugby World Cup Sevens tournaments and he is also the record points scorer with 297 points to his name.

While the players have been putting the final touches to their physical and mental preparation in the Golden City, the iconic AT&T Park has undergone a transformation from one of the world’s most famous baseball diamonds to a spectacular rugby sevens venue.

Fijians around the country and in different parts of the world are encouraged to fly the Fiji flag as we get ready for the World Cup 7s.

Fiji last won the Melrose Cup in 2005, and 13 years later, fans believe that Gareth Baber has the right mix of players to deliver the win and bring the World Cup home.

Click here for more videos, pictures and stories on the 2018 Rugby World Cup.

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