12 Jul 2018

Sport: Fiji 7s hoping to gain altitude edge

11:38 am on 12 July 2018

Fiji sevens coach Gareth Baber says two weeks training at altitude will hopefully give his players a performance edge at the World Cup in San Francisco.

An extended Fiji squad has been in Utah for the past week and a half as they fight for selection in the final 12-man squad.

Gareth Baber said the altitude training has been putting the players under additional stress and fatigue so they will have a bit of enhanced ability to perform under pressure when they return to sea level next week.

Fiji players training in Utah ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens later this month.

Fiji players training in Utah ahead of the Rugby World Cup Sevens later this month. Photo: Fiji Rugby

He says the team has been able to focus and draw closer together.

"We're in a good training environment, there's as little distraction around us, we have the training ground, we have a training gym, swimming pools, recovery centres - all the things that makes it easy," he said.

"We're living with each other every day so I know as well as everybody that when a Fijian team feels like a family and bonds like a family then they pretty much go out there and do it as a family.

"And when we've had the highs that we've had this season I very much feel like that in the group and I'm very much feeling it as we're going along now."

Gareth Baber said the European-based quartet of Josua Tuisova, Leone Nakarawa, Semi Kunitani and Semi Radradra have fitted in seamlessly with the rest of the squad.

Fiji coach Gareth Baber says his team is not under any extra pressure heading into the Games

Gareth Baber. Photo: RNZ Pacific / Vinnie Wylie

Three of them are Olympic gold medallists but Baber said everyone is treated the same in camp.

"These boys they have no airs of graces, they do not think they're above it and when they come into the sevens environment they've added value the minute that they've come in," he said.

The preparation camp runs until the weekend with the World Cup squad to be finalised on Monday, before the tournament kicks off at the end of next week.