Gareth Baber, the Fiji Sevens head coach, is facing another major problem in what is turning out to be a season of serious set-backs with police revealing a senior member of the team has been detained for allegedly drink driving.
Fiji TV have reportedly named the player as Kalioni Nasoko, captain of the Fiji Men’s Sevens Team, who was arrested by the Fiji Police Force for allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol. Nasoko, who has been part of the team since the start of the 2018/19 HSBC World Sevens Series, was arrested by Nadi Police in Malolo.
He is currently being held at the Nadi Police Station as investigations into the alleged incident continue and is the second high-profile player to get in trouble with the authorities after forward Mesulame Kunavula was caught driving without a licence late last year.
The charge sheet for Baber is now worryingly long and includes former national 7s playmaker, Amenoni Nasilasila, who is due to appear in court for allegedly raping a 24-year-old woman last year while the Fiji Rugby Union also dropped Olympic Gold medal winner and keyplaymaker Vatemo Ravovou from the Hamilton and Sydney legs of the series for disciplinary reasons.
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The Fiji Sevens team is preparing for the North American leg of the HSBC Series having started this season impressively winning the Cape Town and Hamilton events, but they currently lie third in the table behind New Zealand, who won the Sydney Sevens, and the USA, the most consistent team in the competition and the defending champions in Las Vegas.
On a happier note, Jerry Tuwai was named the Sevens Player of the Year during the Fiji Rugby Union Annual Awards Gala in Suva. Tuwai is the only surviving member of the gold medal winning team from the 2016 Olympic Games currently in Baber’s squad.
He captained the Fijian 7s team during the 2017/18 HSBC World Sevens Series where they won five tournaments, a silver medal at the Commonwealth Games and a semi-final finish at the Sevens Rugby World Cup in San Francisco.
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