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Fiji Sevens thrown into chaos

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Fiji Sevens team in chaos - a court appearance, a bail extension and Top 14 poaching rumours

Fiji sevens captain Kalioni Nasoko has pleaded guilty to drink driving and will learn his fate on March 29 as his team mates prepare for the Las Vegas and Vancouver legs of the HSBC World Sevens Series.

Nasoko appeared in court in Nadi and admitted driving under the influence of alcohol on February 8 when he was stopped by police and breathalysed. His appearance came as another of the country’s sevens players Emenoni Nasilasila, who is accused of allegedly raping a 24-year-old woman last year, had his bail extended to March 4.

The court appearances are another unwanted distraction for Fiji sevens head coach Gareth Baber who has been putting the squad through a fitness camp in Sigatoka as they prepare for the North American legs of the series having enjoyed back-to-back wins in Cape Town and Hamilton. However, Baber was disappointed with their performance in Sydney and has used the break from the competition to work on fitness and remind the players of the responsibilities as role models following he off-the-field problems.

Baber, who has the help of two overseas coaches, will leave for Las Vegas with the squad on Friday and said: “We’re trying to get to that level of consistency at a high pace game that we’ve shown we can play. I’m excited about the speed of movement that I’m witnessing when we’re at top of our fitness level, and the intensity we’ve been showing at training.

“Our competitive sessions where we have played against each other have been pleasing, to see boys finding quality space on the field and how quickly they can get to that space and score tries. Not every session is the Coach’s dream perfect session, but if we were at a peak all the time we wouldn’t be identifying what we have to work on. We need to fine tune accuracy in the kick off itself, retaining the ball and how we react if it doesn’t go our way. We’re progressing week by week and that’s the nature of the job we do.”

Baber may be losing another of his squad with Bordeaux Begles reportedly interested in signing Mesulame Kunavula as an option at No8 for their Top 14 campaign.

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Fiji Sevens team in chaos - a court appearance, a bail extension and Top 14 poaching rumours