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Former Dragon leads Fiji to Olympic glory

28/07/2021

Former Dragons scrum half Gareth Baber has kept Fiji on top of the world as the south sea islanders beat New Zealand 27-12 to clinch the Olympic title at the Tokyo Games on Wednesday.

Baber – who played 75 games for Dragons between 2003 and 2007 – helped Fiji defend their crown and claim back-to-back Olympic titles.

There has been much praise for the Welshman, who played at scrum-half for Oxford University, Cardiff, Pontypridd, Aberavon, Bristol as well as the Dragons.

And everyone at Rodney Parade would like to pass on their congratulations to Baber and Fiji on the Olympic success.

Baber said: “I have to pay special tribute to the players. By the time these guys have flown home and done their quarantine, they won’t have seen their families for 20 weeks. It takes a special kind of person to make that commitment.

“For a few of the boys you saw out there today, that tournament was the first international rugby they’d ever played.

“For some of them, it was the first time they’ve ever been out of Fiji and ever been on a plane.

“A lot of these guys are learning to be away from their families, learning to be overseas, but if you do it right that does create a unity.

“You won’t find a tighter group of people than this team.

“If you give them a vision of where you want them to go, they will run through brick walls for you.

“What you saw out there today, and in the last three days, is evidence of the resilience of this group.”

Fiji is a nation of less than a million people but their offloading and pace proved too potent for New Zealand as they ran in four tries.

New Zealand had earlier beaten Great Britain to make the final. Team GB were edged out by Argentina in the bronze medal match.

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