Ryan: Don’t write-off our women
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