Former Fiji 7s coach Gareth Baber and Mick Byrne, mentor of Swire Shipping Fijian Drua, are proud of the progress made by the players in the Flying Fijians Rugby World Cup team.

Baber coached famous Fiji 7s players and Olympic gold medalists such as Meli Derenalagi, Jiuta Wainiqolo, Iosefo Masi, and Sireli Maqala.

Byrne highly praises the smooth inclusion of his 18 Drua players into the team.

The Drua mentor is confident that this World Cup is unique and trusts that his players are in good hands.

“Simon had a lot to do with every player that’s in that team. He has been part of helping them move off the island, into professional contracts and he had a part in recruiting all our Drua players. So, I think the continuity there from coaching, communication, and understanding has been good.”

Baber, who led the Flying Fijians during the November 2021 tour, expresses his paternal pride in the progress of 7s players he coached.

“It’s like being a proud dad, isn’t it? To see them do what they’ve got to do, playing for the Drua and doing that stuff, makes you quite emotional to see how far they’ve come in a short period of time. I really want to see them do well.”

The RWC will begin on Saturday between New Zealand and France at 7.15 am.

Fiji will play Wales next Monday at 7 am.