Ben Ryan

Fiji Sun - - Comments -

Utiko Nabunobuno, Lautoka

A lot has been said re­cently about our now renowned 7s coach leav­ing Fiji Rugby. Some have said that he is start­ing to dis­tance him­self from Fiji Rugby af­ter the Rio gold tri­umph, now that his mar­ket value has in­creased dra­mat­i­cally.

With all due re­spect to the gen­tle­man, if we look at it from an­other an­gle, I think that it was not him who raised Fiji 7s rugby pro­file, but rather it was Fiji 7s that raised Ben Ryan’s pro­file. He ac­cepted the coach­ing job, even when he knew FRU could not pay him the right amount, be­cause he knew that it was his only chance of tast­ing glory this time. If he had coached any other team, whether it be New Zealand or Great Bri­tain, his team would not have been on the win­ning podium.

Like it or not, it was Fiji’s destiny to win the Rio gold, whether Serevi, Ti­et­jens, or Ryan was coach. It is no doubt Ryan has helped us win backto-back series ti­tles, plus the gold in Rio. How­ever, Fi­jians are known to be the best 7s rugby play­ers the world over, and the fact that ma­jor­ity of the 7s rugby pow­er­houses and top rugby com­pe­ti­tions in the world boast Fi­jian ath­letes as among its best play­ers, is a tes­ta­ment to that fact. We are the best 7s team in the world, and we have won so many sev­ens ti­tles in the past be­fore the in­tro­duc­tion of the World Seven Series. It is in­deed true that rugby made the tiny dot Fiji shine like a star on the world map, but it was our brand of en­ter­tain­ing, un­ortho­dox play that put rugby on to the world stage, and fi­nally on to the Olympics.

Fit­tingly, it is the Fi­jian play­ers play­ing that day that took the evo­lu­tion of rugby and the Olympics to a whole new level. So, if Ben wants to go, con­vey to him our ap­pre­ci­a­tions, and fare him well. The world will al­ways be mes­merised by Fi­jian rugby, with or with­out him.

Long live Fi­jian Rugby!!

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