Olympic Gold winner Baber joins Edinburgh Rugby coaching team

Olympic Gold winner Baber joins Edinburgh Rugby coaching team

​Edinburgh Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of 2020 Olympic Gold winning Fiji Sevens Head Coach Gareth Baber as the club’s new Skills and Assistant Attack Coach.

Baber – who amassed the most-ever World Rugby Sevens Series wins for Fiji [11] – will link up with Edinburgh Rugby’s coaching group in December.

On joining the club, Baber said: “I am very much looking forward to the challenges and opportunities which come with my new coaching role with Edinburgh. 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.

“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.” Gareth Baber

Having studied at both Swansea University and Oxford University, Baber – who played scrum-half and wing – enjoyed a highly respected professional playing career, representing Cardiff RFC, Pontypridd RFC, Aberavon RFC, Bristol and Dragons, before switching his focus to coaching in 2007.

After being appointed as Wales U20 Assistant Coach, Baber progressed to 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 where he directed the senior men’s, women’s and youth programmes at elite level until 2016.

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.

The Welshman would go on to claim 11 tournament victories with Fiji – beating the previous record of nine set by Ben Ryan – and guided Fiji Sevens to the 2018/19 World Rugby Sevens Series title.

Baber capped off an illustrious five-year period with the South Pacific Islanders by leading Fiji to gold at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, with Fiji Sevens claiming a 27-12 victory over New Zealand at Tokyo Stadium in July 2021.

Head Coach Mike Blair, added: “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." Head Coach Mike Blair

“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. We’re really looking forward to welcoming Gareth to Edinburgh Rugby this December.”

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