Gareth Baber has admitted the loss of the Hong Kong and Singapore legs of the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series due to the threat of coronavirus will make it difficult to include the French-based pair of gold medal winner Josua Tuisova (Lyon) and Semi Radradra (Bordeaux) for Fiji’s Olympic Games title defence in Tokyo (July 27-Aug 1)
The Hong Kong and Singapore sevens were due to be played in April but will now take place in October after the Games, leaving Fijian coach Baber to accept gaining release of these two world-class players from their clubs will be tougher as his squad attempt to fill the gaps in the sevens calendar by arranging smaller tournaments, involving teams such as New Zealand, Australia and Samoa.
Those countries also recognise the need to keep their players in competition mode despite the loss of two of the most important legs of the sevens series. Fiji are currently preparing to depart next Saturday for the February 29 Los Angeles leg of the series which is then followed by Vancouver on March 7. The Hong Kong and Singapore legs were then next up on the calendar.