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How Olympic champs Fiji are rewarding head coach Gareth Baber

By Chris Jones
Fiji Sevens coach Gareth Baber.

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Head coach Gareth Baber has been offered a piece of land to build a home in Fiji after helping the country defend their Olympic Sevens gold medal in Japan.


Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama told the Fiji parliament that Baber had “delivered brilliantly” after he successfully defended the gold medal won in Rio in 2016.

“I believe he has earned a home in Fiji for all he has done and we are making the arrangement to offer him a lease on iTaukei land, should he accept,” said Mr Bainimarama.

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Baber has returned to the UK to spend time with his family after being apart for seven months due to the COVID-19 travel restrictions. His current contract runs until the end of 2021 and there are suggestions he could remain for another Olympic cycle.

“For me personally, I have had a contract extension which is lovely:” said Baber.“I’m not quite sure what my future holds, obviously my family are back in the United Kingdom and I’m going back to be with them. I haven’t seen them for seven months.

“This isn’t just about me, this is about my life as a father and a husband.It is also a big responsibility to take on the expectations of a nation and to carry on from the position that it is in.

“I only do everything a 100 per cent and if there is any doubt in my head then I won’t take it. If the Fiji Rugby Union wants me to continue then there will be an agreement that I do it properly,” he said.


“I do it with the clear mind of what I’m going to be doing in the next four years of my life.

“So I don’t want to say anything either way at the moment because you know I think that all my focus was on getting this mission done.

“I haven’t got a contract elsewhere at the moment in my life. I just want to get back to my family and see them.

“I hope that people just give me a little bit of space and time to make that proper decision, because the job is too important. It is not like any other in the world from what I can see and from my opinion.


“We are so proud as a nation as to what we can achieve at this level and I think that it is important for us as a nation that we make the right decisions at this level.

“I think that this is important for us as a nation that we make the right decisions based around those coaches, players and managers who can commit to make sure that we stay at this standard and this level going forward.”


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