Ben Ryan le­gacy

Fiji Sun - - Comment -

Ti­moci Gau­nav­inaka, Nau­sori Con­grat­u­la­tions to Samoa for a su­perb per­for­mance in Paris. You showed the world that we Pa­cific is­landers can be ruth­less to each other on the play­ing field, but off the field af­ter the game we are all broth­ers.

If the Paris 7s has any­thing to show for Fiji, it is that we are truly on track for the Olympic gold. Aus­tralia, Wales and Eng­land will all come out fir­ing on all bar­rels in Lon­don this week­end be­cause it will be their last chance to test their “Rio prob­a­bles” against the world’s best. If Fiji can just tame these three teams in pool play, then the 2016 IRB Sevens Series is ours. Jarred Hayne will pro­vide the most ex­cit­ing mix ever to our 7s squad and Ben has just placed his fi­nal piece of jig­saw into his ex­tended train­ing squad puz­zle. In a train­ing squad with names like Nakarawa, Tuisova, Rawaca, Ku­natani, Kolin­isau, Taliga, Jerry, Ravovou, Nasi­lasila, Jasa, Ka­toni­bau, Viriviri, Nay­a­calevu and now Haynes, Fiji looks like a team of bul­lies.

But Ben has said it right. If they are not fit and can­not gel to­gether, then their big names don’t mat­ter. Some may see it un­fair to drop some lo­cal boys, but Rio is not a beauty pageant where “the fairest of them all” wins. It is a bat­tle­field where only the strong­est tri­umphs so only the strong­est in all as­pects of the bat­tle must go.

It is start­ing to look ob­vi­ous that Ben Ryan has been weav­ing some­thing huge and very spe­cial to show­case. We can now see an un­be­liev­able amount of hid­den po­ten­tial be­ing silently col­lected and slowly groomed to peak and ex­plode like a time bomb in Rio. Ben knows that we have won the Sevens World Cup and the IRB series be­fore. Noth­ing less than the sparkle of Gold will im­press the na­tion! But Ben has some aces up his sleeves too. He is not only tar­get­ing gold in Rio. He wants to win it in style and re­write the his­tory of the great­est 7s rugby vic­tory of all time. This is one mo­ment when he can etch his le­gacy and the world will re­mem­ber him long af­ter he is gone.

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