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There are on­go­ing spec­u­la­tions on who will re­place Ben Ryan as the next Voda­fone Fi­jian 7s head coach. Fiji Rugby Union chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer John O’Con­nor said al­though they had wanted Ryan to stay on but they had to re­spect his wishes as well. Af­ter the gold medal win at the Rio Olympic Games, Ryan had in­di­cated his in­ten­tion to take a three to six months break from rugby and to ex­plore op­tions for his fu­ture un­der­tak­ing. He wants to take on a new chal­lenge and this time to coach 15s either in Su­per or Pre­mier­ship Rugby. With a few of­fers on his table Ryan is tak­ing time out to de­cide his next move. How­ever, FRU has still got the door open on him and will be happy to ac­cept his ap­pli­ca­tion if Ryan wishes to re-ap­ply. The English­man in re­turn, O’Con­nor says, has read­ily ac­cepted to as­sist the FRU board of di­rec­tors and the Fiji Na­tional Sports Com­mis­sion in fi­nal­is­ing his re­place­ment.

Not only that, Ryan is also will­ing to as­sist the newly ap­pointed coach in putting to­gether his team for the first leg of the 2016/17 HSBC World Sevens Series in De­cem­ber. The po­si­tion of the Fi­jian 7s Head Coach has been ad­ver­tised for over a week now. By now those who had been eye­ing the job, must be work­ing on their ap­pli­ca­tion as it has to be handed-in be­fore Septem­ber 30.

Surely, we ap­pre­ci­ate their in­ter­est but they must ask them­selves on whether they have what it takes to take our Fi­jian 7s team, a level higher from where Ryan had left off. To an­swer this they must be hon­est with them­selves and if they are not sure it’s best for them to leave it at that and do some­thing else.

This job is not about trav­el­ling around the globe, be­ing get­ting paid, be the cen­tre of me­dia at­ten­tion or a house­hold name.

It’s about hav­ing the right at­ti­tude, be able to per­form, a hard worker, be­ing dis­ci­pline, the need to stay ahead of oth­ers at all times, a strong leader, strate­gi­cally plan­ning the way for­ward, un­der­stand­ing the play­ers and get­ting the best out of them and the list goes on and on. Ryan had most of these qual­i­ties and that was why we were able to win the HSBC World Sevens Series twice in a row be­fore we stormed the Deodoro Sta­dium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil to claim the coun­try’s first ever Olympic gold medal.

I thank our Min­is­ters and As­sis­tant Min­is­ters for their ser­vice over the past two years and look for­ward to work­ing closely with them in their re­as­signed port­fo­lios for the re­main­der of the Govern­ment’s term as we serve the Fi­jian peo­ple and take our na­tion for­ward

Voreqe Bain­i­marama Prime Min­is­ter of Fiji

Ben Ryan

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