Ryan: Don’t write-off our women

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Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s coach Ben Ryan is op­ti­mistic that the Fi­jiana women’s 7s team could win the coun­try’s first medal at the Rio Olympics. He said they were more than ca­pa­ble of steal­ing the lime­light from the men’s 7s team, just like they did at the 2013 Rugby 7s World Cup in Moscow where they won a bronze medal. In Rio the women’s tour­na­ment will be played first. Naisa Koroi

Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s coach Ben Ryan yes­ter­day clar­i­fied why Jar­ryd Hayne was dropped He con­firmed he met Hayne at the end of last week’s camp and had both de­cided that his journey to­wards Rio had come to an end. “On Fri­day, Jar­ryd and I sat down for an end of camp week talk and de­cided that his journey to­wards Rio had come to an end,”Ryan said. “He has had a quite amaz­ing few weeks and com­mit­ted 100 per cent to the pro­gramme.

“It’s been the most phys­i­cally and men­tally drain­ing “stress cy­cle” I have put a Fi­jian squad through and not once has he shirked putting in the ef­fort.

“At the start of his journey with the team I ex­plained a few things to him. I could see im­me­di­ately he had a very good skill set and his fun­da­men­tal skills were ex­cel­lent and per­son­ally I just love his at­ti­tude to life.” Ryan said one of the big­gest hur­dles for Hayne was the time-frame, but he had con­trib­uted hugely to the squad’s at­ti­tude. “The big­gest hur­dle for him was the time­frame. It was a very short run­way for him to get to the fit­ness lev­els and un­der­stand­ing needed and go past any of our cur­rent squad mem­bers. “Know­ing that, we both also felt it was worth giv­ing it a crack and see­ing how far he could go. He also added hugely to the squad with his at­ti­tude off and on the field and I have no doubt this has im­proved every­one’s per­for­mance lev­els and helped the team in their pur­suit of Olympic suc­cess. “The camp has an ex­cel­lent en­vi­ron­ment and Hayne def­i­nitely added to it.” The team to Rio will be an­nounced on Satur­day and Ryan says that af­ter much con­sid­er­a­tion he knew that Hayne would not have had enough time to prove him­self to make the se­lec­tion.

“With a week to go to se­lec­tion, I could see that he was not go­ing to have enough time re­main­ing to make the cut. I didn’t want to push him so far that I caused in­jury and also had no in­ten­tion of putting him through an­other huge week when I had al­ready de­cided upon his se­lec­tion.

“As I ex­pected, his re­ac­tion to all this was gold stan­dard. A few more weeks and his se­lec­tion decision may well have been dif­fer­ent. If he de­cides to stay in Union then I have no doubt he will make a world class cen­tre or full­back. I’d rec­om­mend him highly to any or­gan­i­sa­tion.

“The clear­est sign­post of the sort of bloke he is was the re­ac­tion from the rest of the squad when they found out he was leav­ing. He has made an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion on all of them and the man­age­ment. No rock star at­ti­tude. No de­mand­ing be­hav­iour. The quote I have pla­gia­rised from the wall of the New York Giants sums him up; Blame no­body. Ex­pect noth­ing. Do some­thing.” Fiji Rugby Union

Hayne has made an in­deli­ble im­pres­sion on all of them and the man­age­ment. No rock star at­ti­tude. No de­mand­ing be­hav­iour. The quote I have pla­gia­rised from the wall of the N ew York Giants sums him up; Blame no­body. Ex­pect noth­ing. Do some­thing. Ben Ryan Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s coach

The Fi­jiana women’s 7s squad train­ing at Pa­cific Har­bour (from left to right) Re­jieli Daveuwa, Li­tia Naiqato, Mere­wai Cumu, Jiowana Sauto, Ti­maima Tamoi, Brit­tany Coates, Matila Waqanidrola, Re­becca Tavo, Luisa Ba­sei, Miriama Naiobasali, Vini­ana Ri­wai, Ana Maria Ro­qica and Lave­nia Ti­nai.

Photo: Bruce South­wick/ZoomFiji

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