Kenya face acid test in defence of Singapore Sevens rugby title

Nasoko Awarded Player of the Final                 Posted

Former coach Ben Ryan left the following month, with Baber only taking charge this January.

"Sevens players are some of the fittest rugby players and athletes in the world", he told local media.

The team, which lost to Scotland 19-21 in the Challenge Trophy final at the Hong Kong Sevens last weekend, has been a fade shadow of its last season's dominance that culminated in it winning in Singapore and coach Innocent Simiyu will have his task cut out as he lines up his team in the title defence. Fiji have won the last two series.

The Aussies will take on the U.S. in their semi-final at 7.10pm AEST while Canada knocked New Zealand out in their quarter final.

Acknowledging the "tough environment" of today's sevens game, he added: "What makes me confident is the quality of talent we have in Fiji that continues year-on-year, and I'm confident in the way they play and conduct themselves". "Fair play to Kenya they made it hard for us".

Beyond the Singapore Sevens, however, Baber is aiming to extend Fiji's success in the sport beyond the series. It is no mean feat trying to shape a side in a role that comes with heavy expectations, but the Welshman is relishing the challenge.

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"That is exactly what we are after as coaches".

"I'm not saying I'm always going to get it my own way and it is tough sometimes".

Those goals include doing well at the Commonwealth Games and Rugby Sevens World Cup next year, with the long-term aim being to retain their Olympic crown in Tokyo in 2020.

"The young players have been bouncing back and challenging the others for their positions", the 28-year-old said.

Fiji will play Hong Kong in their first pool match at 4.52pm this Saturday, their second game is against Russian Federation at 7.50pm and their final pool match is against Canada at 12.06am Sunday. "As you can see I am not the biggest rugby player".

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