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The Fiji Times » Boys ready to hit the pitch running

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The Team Fiji men’s 7s team is looking forward to its match against Japan in Tokyo today as they have received negative results for the past 20 weeks.

Coach Gareth Baber, in a virtual interview session with the media, spoke highly about his players as they maintain COVID-19 pandemic restrictions in the Olympics.

“We adopted a bubble policy where we look after each other and make sure that players understood the worth
of keeping safe,” Baber said.

‘Part of that was not seeing their families and it was really difficult for all them, but we have carried that through our quarantine in Australia and on to the competition that we played in Australia.

“We were tested every day and then the challenge was coming to Japan and continuing that. We had no interaction with the public and coming to Tokyo not knowing what to expect is a big challenge.

“It takes a lot of work to ensure that you still able to function and do daily things and keeping your welfare where it needs to be and taking care of your training as well.

“It takes a great deal of effort, organisation and discipline on behalf of all the members of the group and we have managed it really well.

“Different teams have different strategies and ours is pretty much that we stick together, we don’t expose unnecessarily.

We are very mindful of keeping the players and the staff safe which is my priority.

“There is a lot of pressure coming our way of doing that but I have been very pleased with the way that we have been operating and we find ourselves now in  no positive test of the last 20 weeks and coming to the delivery stage.

“We are excited to go out and have the opportunity to represent our country.”

He said there was a protocol to be followed if any of the players or staff members was tested positive.

“If there is a positive case obviously the team can still play and they will be tested and for us we are tested every day, so you have to see those positive tests.

“There is a minimum number which a team has to field and that really is about player welfare, player safety and you have to be careful that you are not exposing players to greater risk of injury because you have few numbers on your bench.”

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