Fiji 7s

Fiji gets an early scare but wins opening match at Tokyo Olympics

Japan went into half time leading the Rio Olympic gold medalists.

Fiji started well and withing less than a minute, Jiuta Wainiqolo ran straight through two Japanese defenders to score.

Iosefo Masi scored the team’s second try.

However, just before halftime Japan managed to score a team try through Lote Tuqiri as the hosts led 14-12 at the break.

Another Fijian, Kameli Soejima got Japan further in the lead with an unconverted try just after halftime as they led 19-12.

Rio Olympics gold medalists send message of encouragement to Fiji 7s players

Kolinisau and others sent a message of encouragement to the team.

Fiji 7s Head Coach, Gareth Baber confirmed the video message was put together by former captain Kolinisau.

Baber added it’s very challenging and inspiring to hear from Kolinisau and others.

The national coach said what those players did was unbelievable and their message was timely.

He says we should all be immensely proud of the past players and the legacy they created.

Gareth Baber on the pressure and privilege of coaching Fiji

Llanelli, south Wales. A small town backing on to green hills and a history of heavy industry.

Fiji, South Pacific. An tropical archipelago of palms, white sand and a slower way of life.

Half the globe away, and a world of difference.

But Baber, the Welshman who arrived as Fiji's sevens coach in January 2017, does not feel as far from home as all that.

"I spent a lot of time in Llanelli as a kid, in the pubs, playing pool, knocking about in the lanes outside," he told BBC Sport.

Semi Radradra joins Fiji 7s team in Tokyo

It has been several years since the 29-year-old played sevens rugby competitively.

Before meeting up with the team in Japan, Radradra participated in the Super Sevens Series that was held in the UK.

According to the Bristol Post, Radradra played for the Official Wooden Spoon Marauders Sevens team where they won the plate final.

Fiji has two matches on the opening day of the 7s competition.

They will face Japan on 26 July at 12pm (local time) before taking on Canada at 8pm.

Fiji will then play Great Britain on the next day.

Fiji wins Oceania 7s

The Gareth Baber-coached side defeated New Zealand 17-7 in its last match at Townsville in Queensland.

The national side was the only unbeaten team in the competition.

“We’ve played some good stuff and have been ordinary at times but we know that there’s always stuff to work on but we scored a good bag of tries and that’s what we’re always after and continue to work on our shape and quality of defense,” said Baber.

Hooker Iosefo Masi, Jiuta Wainiqolo and Meli Derenalagi scored a try each.

Fiji 7s enter training bubble

The Fijian sides are set to feature in the inaugural PacificAus Oceania Sevens tournament later this month, to help boost team preparations ahead of the Tokyo Olympics in July.

Fijiana coach, Saiasi Fuli, said both squads have hit the ground running.

"So far so good. It's very windy and cold here in the Sunshine Coast, but we're okay with the last three days," he said.

Fiji 7s to face NZ, Australia in Olympic warm-up

The Fiji men's team haven't played an international match since the World Series were cancelled 15 months ago, while the Fijiana haven't played since the Sydney Sevens in February last year.

The players have instead been competing in a domestic sevens series to keep match-fit ahead of the Tokyo Olympics.

The inaugural PacificAus Oceania Sevens will be held at Queensland Country Bank stadium, from 25 to 27 June, with four men's and four women's teams from Fiji, New Zealand and Australia.

Fiji Rugby will introduce a new Sevens tournament next year to prepare for the 2021 Olympic Games

"The HSBC 7s Series had been an integral part of our preparations for the Olympics as such, we have had to look at other alternatives to give our players the needed preparation before the Olympics," he said.

"Competing against the top players in their respective club teams allows the coaches to see our national players perform against other top sevens players in Fiji thus helping our sevens team prepare well for the Olympics."

The Super 7s Series will kick-off in January and is aimed to replicate an environment similar to the World Rugby Sevens Series.

Fiji sevens relishing local competition while World Series remains up in air

The Fijians finished third on last season's global circuit, which was cut short because of the global pandemic, while the first four tournaments of the 2021 season have already been cancelled.

Fiji's 23-man training squad goes back into camp on Wednesday and coach Gareth Baber said the players were handling a difficult situation as best they could.

Olympic dream still burning bright for Fiji 7s team

The 2016 gold medal winners finished third in last season's World Sevens Series, which was cut short because of the global pandemic.

Head coach Gareth Baber admitted they found it tough to live up to the title winning effort last year.

"It's slightly inherent in Fijian culture and certainly the way that we play the game that you're going to get bouts where you don't quite live up to that quality," he said.