Sticking With The Faithful

Ben Ryan’s chance to bury the nightmare in Moscow 2013 with celebration in Rio Expect Ben Ryan to name his 7s regulars on the World Sevens Series for the Olympic
16 Jul 2016 11:00
Sticking With The Faithful
Team Fiji mens 7's team during training at the Sand Dunes in Sigatoka yesterday. Photo: WAISEA NASOKIA

Ben Ryan’s chance to bury the nightmare in Moscow 2013 with celebration in Rio

Expect Ben Ryan to name his 7s regulars on the World Sevens Series for the Olympic team for Rio today.

The Vodafone Fijian 7s coach can’t afford to shy or deviate from the norm.

Ryan will need to stick with the men who fought the battles and won the war for him, King and Country in the last two years.

There’s no room to gamble or risk when he names the 12 players and one travelling reserve for the four-yearly global showpiece.

Like the World Sevens Series, the objectives and the rules of the games are the same.

But the pressure and emotions involved is different when it comes to the Olympic Games.

They will only play six games and with expectation so high for our men to deliver, selection will be for those who can withstand the heat, soak the pressure and deliver the desired result.

And for that we need the men who have been ‘through the mill’, grinded the hard yards, been there, done it.

Playing Under Pressure

Therefore keeping the faith with the series regular who got the job done in the past years is crucial.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve been playing the game as a Test player or how many times you’ve scored, we need men who can make decision when the pressure is on or everyone else feels the heat.

Even the greatest players, who never seem to falter, feel pressure when they’re on the big stage.


The man in control

Ryan has been in control since he took up the coaching role three years ago, the one Fijians look to for answers when things don’t go our way.

As always the case, the athletes get the praise when it all goes well, but the coach gets the stick (and possibly the sack) if it all goes wrong.

The Englishman experienced the same situation when he was England’s coach at the 2013 Rugby Sevens World Cup in Russia.

The curtains on his coaching career fell at Moscow’s Luzhniki Stadium after being thrashed 33-0 in the Cup final by New Zealand.

He resigned and Fiji gave him a lifeline to resurrect his coaching career in September, 2013.

And the former teacher of St Edwards School, Oxford, England continues to do wonders.

First and foremost he sacrificed to go without pay in the first four months-perhaps the only professional rugby coach to do so.

Under his tenure, Fiji won the Dubai and Las Vegas 7s tournaments for the first time.

And top it up winning World Sevens Series back- to-back-victories early this year.

This is Ryan’s chance to cap off his career on a brilliant high with a first ever rugby medal for Fiji. And bury the nightmare in Moscow with celebration in Rio.

Ryan could name two teams from the 23 –member squad who have toiled and trained so hard for five weeks at the Uprising Beach Resort.

Unfortunately 10 will miss out as 12 players and one travelling reserve, who will stay outside the Games Village, will be named today.

All the players have proved their worth and the onus is on Ryan to name his best players today.


Possible 12:
Forwards- Jasa Veramalua, Apisai Domolailai, Semi Kunatani, Leone Nakarawa, Masivesi Dakuwaqa.
Backline: Osea Kolinisau, Seremaia Tuwai, Vatemo Ravouvou, Samisoni Virivi, Josua Tuisova, Kitione Taliga, Waisea Nayacalevu.
Travelling reserve: Nemani Nagusa/Viliame Mata/Pio Tuwai


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