False claims Fiji sevens coach died in NZ 'sickening'

Cardiff Blues' coach Gareth Baber poses during the launch of the Heineken Cup and Amlin Challenge Cup season launch at Sky news studios, London (Photo by Anthony Devlin/PA Images via Getty Images)
The glonews360 website posted a story incorrectly claiming Gareth Baber was one of two people who had died in the fatal crash in the South Island. Photo: Getty Images

Fiji sevens coach Gareth Baber says a cruel hoax about him being killed in a New Zealand car crash is "sickening" and "horrible".

The glonews360 website posted the story which claimed Baber was one of two people who had died in the fatal crash in the South Island.

The story first appeared a month ago, but has recently resurfaced with some people re-posting it to social media and expressing their condolences.

Baber has shut down claims of his death saying "its pretty upsetting" after speaking with WalesOnline in Cape Town, where he has landed to prepare for the next leg of the World Sevens Series.

"It isn't very nice at all to read that you have died," said Baber.

"It is mind boggling why someone would do this. I don't understand it."

"When you are away from family and travelling the world, you don't want people to hear that kind of thing... If a member of your family were to see it, it would be a terrible shock.

"I contacted my mum and the rest of my family to let them know I was fine," he said.

Cardiff Rugby Life also recently shut down the fake reports through Twitter which said they were not sure why anyone would fabricate his death.

Details in the fake story reveal it was based on a genuine report from July, using details of the location, car, and the same name of the person who was killed in the fatal crash.

"Saying that about me is one thing," said the former Cardiff Blues coach.

"To think they have used someone else's name who has actually died is horrendous. It is sickening."

The fake report also contained biographical information about the 45-year-old Baber who played for Cardiff, Pontypridd, Oxford University, Aberavon, Bristol and the Dragons before becoming a sevens coach.

The story was the third erroneous report related to Fijian rugby to have appeared online in the past couple of years.

In 2016 a fake news story reported about Baber's predecessor as a national sevens coach, Ben Ryan.

Then earlier in the year Fiji's test captain Akapusi Qera was said to have died after collapsing during training.

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