Edinburgh Rugby appoint Gareth Baber, the coach who guided Fiji to Olympic sevens gold

Gareth Baber, the coach who guided Fiji to Olympic sevens gold in Tokyo in the summer, is joining Edinburgh as the club’s new Skills and Assistant Attack Coach.

Gareth Baber led Fiji to rugby sevens gold medals by beating New Zealand in the final of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Picture: Dan Mullan/Getty Images

The Welshman will move to Scotland in December and will arrive with an impressive CV – he has amassed a record 11 World Rugby Sevens Series wins with Fiji.

The former scrum-half is keen to return to the XV-a-side game and will work alongside head coach Mike Blair at Edinburgh.

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“I am very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities which come with my new coaching role with Edinburgh,” Baber said: “I am extremely grateful to Mike [Blair] and the Edinburgh backroom team for the faith they have shown in my recruitment and I’m determined to repay this.

Gareth Baber is leaving Fiji to join Edinburgh as skills coach. (Photo by Suhaimi Abdullah/Getty Images)

“The prospect of joining an innovative and knowledgeable coaching staff at a top European team, which has in its ranks some of the best rugby talent in world rugby, excites me enormously. I look forward to adding value to the group, utilising my own rugby knowledge and coaching experiences.

“Having played and coached against Edinburgh during my career, I am aware of what the team represents and the depth of passion felt in the city for the success of the team.

“It is a great opportunity to challenge myself in an established professional environment, where I recognise that I will need to be at the top of my coaching abilities.

“I look forward to establishing new relationships and will work tirelessly to honour the opportunity which has been presented to me.”

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Baber’s coaching career has seen him work as an assistant with Wales Under-20 and then academy skills coach at Cardiff Blues before being named head coach of the Welsh capital club – alongside Justin Burnell - in 2011.

Baber left Cardiff in 2013 and was appointed head of Hong Kong Rugby Sevens.

He signed a four-year deal to become Fiji Sevens head coach in 2016 and quickly established himself as a highly respected and knowledgeable coach on the World Rugby Sevens circuit.

Baber capped off an illustrious five-year period with Fiji by leading them to gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, claiming a 27-12 victory over New Zealand in the final in July.

Blair said: “I’m really looking forward to working with Gareth. He’ll be a welcome addition to our coaching group.

“Gareth’s reputation for being a forward-thinking and dynamic coach will be hugely important as we look to continually develop our attacking philosophy in the seasons to come.

“I’ve got no doubt Gareth will hit the ground running once he links up with our group in December and our squad will benefit massively from his coaching and expertise.”

Edinburgh Rugby managing director, Douglas Struth, added: “We’re absolutely delighted to welcome Gareth to the club. He’s an Olympic Gold medal winner and brings with him a wealth of experience and coaching pedigree that will only add to our already dynamic and talented coaching group.

“Gareth’s record on the World Rugby Sevens Series speaks for itself while, in his role as Fiji Sevens head coach, he has worked with some of world rugby’s most talented and gifted players.

“Those experiences will bring an exciting style to our attacking philosophy – something our coaching staff will no doubt embrace from the get-go.”

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