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Rio First : Ben

  Ben Ryan says winning gold at the Rio Olympics remains his long term objective as the Vodafone Fijian 7s coach. Ryan reaffirms  his commitment to winning Fiji’s first medal
08 Dec 2015 13:16
Rio First : Ben

 

Ben Ryan says winning gold at the Rio Olympics remains his long term objective as the Vodafone Fijian 7s coach.

Ryan reaffirms  his commitment to winning Fiji’s first medal at the Olympic after winning the Dubai 7s over the weekend.He said it was less about individual events like Dubai and more about the bigger picture in Rio.

“I’d happily finish 12th in the World Series, so long as we win a gold medal in Rio,” Ryan told Gulf News.

“We’d suffer a lot of anguish if that was the case but that’s our number one goal, to win gold at the Olympics.

“All this is preparation is to  defend our [World Series] title and we’ll play as well as we can, but there will be times when we will not put our best team out. So I think, along with the others we’ll be a lot more pragmatic in our selections this season, so that we are ready to go, come Rio in August.”

 

Scotland improving

After winning the Dubai 7s, Fiji will look to continue their dominance in the series but Ryan said they will have a tough group to overcome in Scotland, Russia and Argentina.

“All three teams are good, I think Scotland are one of the most improved teams last year.

“Russia would have a lot to learn from their first outing back in the series as a core team,” he said.

“Of course Argentina is always a threat and we need to play very well to beat them as they will be out to knock us down so we have got a tough group.

“All the teams are going to be tough, it’s always hard once you win the first tournament everyone is chasing you.

“I think South Africa in particular who have only lost one game by two points, I would put them down as favourites to win Cape Town 7s.”

 

Ryan 15 role

As the team lands in Cape Town, South Africa yesterday ahead of the second leg of the World Sevens Series this weekend, Ryan said he would not coach another 7s team.

“After the 2015 Rugby World Cup I really did feel as though it is time to try out 15s.

“ I’ve have been doing coaching 7s for 10 years now. I wouldn’t want to go to another international 7s team after Fiji. How can you go anywhere else after coaching the Fiji team?

“So that really only give me the opportunity to step to 15s. I’m a better 15s coach than I am at 7s.

“I have probably got 20 years left in the game. So after the Rio Olympics, it is highly likely that I will go back into the 15s programme somewhere.”

Fiji will play their first game against Scotland on Sunday night at 9:59pm, then Russia at 1:20am Monday morning followed by Argentina 5:03am.

Report by : Justine Mannan

Editing by: Osea Bola

Feedback:  justine.mannan@fijisun.com.fj



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