The Fiji Airways National sevens team are already on the ground in the Northern Hemisphere as they fine-tune preparations for the final two rounds of the World Series.

The Fijians are four points clear of South Africa in the competition standings with two legs to play in London and Paris.

The squad arrived in the UK capital on Wednesday local time, ten days before the competition kicks off at Twickenham.

Coach Gareth Baber said after 24 hours in the air it’s important to give the players plenty of time to recover and acclimatise to the local conditions.

“We tend to try and situate ourselves somewhere where we know there’s going to be a pitch nearby, where we know that we can get good quality food,” he said.

“It’s important for us obviously prepping towards a tournament that we have those disciplines in place and (it is also important the) accommodation is good.

“So that’s what we will be doing, we won’t be staying at the tournament hotel until Monday but from Thursday through to Sunday we will stay elsewhere and obviously they still have those facilites on hand to enable our training to have some focus and be able to get the players to where we need to.”

The World Series leaders are in top form, having won the past three tournaments in Vancouver, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Their only blip last month came with a runners-up finish to New Zealand at the Commonwealth Games and Gareth Baber said the past four weeks has been a chance to rest and reflect.

“Coming back from not just Singapore but I think that month of April which every team felt, and notably us as well, who had done the three tournaments with a similar group, a consistent group that had gone through Hong Kong, Commonwealth Games and then into Singapore,” he said.

“When we returned to Fiji there was a bit of time for the players to reconnect with families, for them to recover…and then we’ve brought them back into training.

“We had what we called a recovery and regeneration week where we focused on some elements off the field that we needed to tighten up on and where we feel we could get some gains.

“Following that we were back into the process of looking at the squad: who was still carrying injuries, who was coming through in terms of form, pushing the players and then looking at the squad that will travel to London and Paris.”

Fiji will face Argentina, Scotland and New Zealand in pool play next weekend and Gareth Baber said he’s hoping to add some European-based players to his squad for the remaining two tournaments.

“I’ve got one eye on obviously this series but I’ve also got an eye on the World Cup as well,” he said.

“Obviously it’s difficult to get hold of some of those players during the season because they’re contracted and although we made noises about potentially brining them into Commonwealth Games it was only Semi Kunatani who sort of came through in that.”


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