Tietjens backs Baber to succeed in Fiji moving into his second season with the Olympic Champions

Tietjens backs Baber to succeed in Fiji moving into his second season with the Olympic Champions

WORLD Rugby Hall of Fame inductee and Samoa 7s coach Gordon Tietjens is optimistic that Gareth Baber has what it takes to continue from where Ben Ryan left off with the Vodafone Fiji 7s team.

The master tactician coach who was the chief guest at the Tanoa Group of Hotels Employee of the Year awards at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi yesterday said Baber had stamped his mark at the biggest rugby 7s tournament in Hong Kong and this best showcased his coaching capabilities.

He said like all other new coaches it would take time to gel with his team. Tietjens said Baber was lucky because of the abundance of rugby talents in Fiji.

He said Fiji would be a force to reckon with at the new 7s series, the upcoming Commonwealth and the Rugby Sevens World Cup in San Francisco.

"Gareth is a very good coach," he said.

"It takes around one year to get your feet on the ground and sometimes longer than that for the players get to understand the type of coach he is."

It also happens with Ben Ryan during his first year and had mixed results for Fiji.

"Gareth got to stamp his mark in his style and we have seen it at the Hong Kong 7s where he won the biggest tournament in the series. He will be looking at the new series and also the Commonwealth Games will be out to win the gold and also the Sevens Rugby World Cup.

"It's a big season not only for Gareth but for all of us coaches."

Tietjens said Fiji was blessed with the abundance of rugby 7s.

"You can take four Fijian teams to the Hong Kong 7s tournament and they can all reach the world cup because of the amazing depth of talents you have here.

"Its great to be back in Fiji and nothing has changed for their love of the 7s game."

He said he was looking forward to a tough HSBC World Sevens Series this year.

Tietjens said he was honoured to be the chief guest at the Tanoa Group of Hotels Employees of the Year Awards at the Tanoa International Hotel in Nadi.

"They looked after me well in Samoa and I am happy to be here," he added.