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Tap On Shoulder Time As Rio Nears. Here’s Why Focus Is On Sevens

As Ben Ryan works out our best men’s 7s combination for Rio, bear a thought for the 12 who will not be making the cut. Mr Ryan has aptly put
09 Jul 2016 10:01
Tap On Shoulder Time As Rio Nears. Here’s Why Focus Is On Sevens
Ben Ryan.

As Ben Ryan works out our best men’s 7s combination for Rio, bear a thought for the 12 who will not be making the cut.

Mr Ryan has aptly put it:  “A tap on the shoulder is coming.”

But like any true sportsperson, we can expect the 12 to support their comrades when they put on the Fijian jersey.  It will be tough and even devastating for some. But such is the reality of any sport.

By this time next week, the 12 names of our Fijian national 7s Olympians plus one non-travelling reserve would have been announced.

Armchair critics will be having a field day as they analyse each player and why they were Mr Ryan’s top pick.

Questions have been raised as to why the main focus in Fiji’s Olympic preparations is on the 7s team. The fact is – our 7s boys have the best chance of winning our first Olympic medal in next month’s Games.

Former Australian Wallabies coach John “Knuckles” Connolly, who is here for National Trainers Conference in Nadi is sure that Fiji remains the top team to lift the inaugural rugby 7s Olympic gold medal.

And Mr Ryan is putting his heart and soul into making this happen. He has been quoted saying that “something not ordinary will get us to win the game”.

But the effort is a collective one.  At the back-end of Fiji’s preparations are experts like Naca Cawanibuka. He is not only the trainer but also a great motivator as he observes and pushes the boys to their limits.

Focusing on the finer kicking details is kicking specialist and New Zealander, Jeremy Manning.

Despite not having the best resources compared to other big teams vying for gold in Rio, supporters are pitching in and helping out where they can.

Just minutes from the Uprising Beach Resort where our men and women’s teams are billeted, The Pearl South Pacific Resort and Spa have stepped in with a mini bus to shuttle the boys.

These are just a few as there are of course countless other unnamed supporters out there.

When they leave our shores on July 26 for a little over a week-acclimatising in Chile, Fijians all over the world will certainly be behind Ben Ryan and his men.

This may be not only our first Olympic medal. It could be gold.

Feedback:  rosi.doviverata@fijisun.com.fj

 



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