Olympics | SPORTS

RYAN’S SUCCESSOR?

Team Fiji men’s national sevens coach, Ben Ryan has told overseas media of his intention of not renewing his contract with Fiji Rugby Union. Understandably Ryan wants to leave on
16 Aug 2016 11:13
RYAN’S SUCCESSOR?
Vodafone Sevens Coach Ben Ryan. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

Team Fiji men’s national sevens coach, Ben Ryan has told overseas media of his intention of not renewing his contract with Fiji Rugby Union.

Understandably Ryan wants to leave on a winning note but the news of him being wanted by other countries had already surfaced even before the Rio Olympics started.

First to spill the beans was current England rugby coach Eddie Jones. He said during an interview that the Japanese were ready to pay Ryan big money as they want acquire his services especially when they are hosting the 2020 Olympic Games.

 

UNDERSTUDY

During his three-year coaching tenure in Fiji, there was no local coach appointed as his understudy. The only people who have worked closely with Ryan are trainer Naca Cawanibuka and women’s coach and fellow englishman Chris Cracknell. Cawanibuka had been with Ryan right from day one while Cracknell was later brought in from London as skills coach.

Some have looked to the former England 7s captain Cracknell as the likely candidate to takeover but the failure of our women’s team at the Olympics, could very well be a blemish on his record. Cracknell was our women’s sevens head coach to Rio.

Then what about Naca? A well-placed source indicated that he was to Ryan’s liking and they communicated on the same wavelength. As a former national rugby sevens rover, secondary schools rugby coach and a university graduate, Naca is very organised, a hard worker and is a goal getter. His father Alifereti is a sports scientist based at the Fiji National University and was a former national rugby sevens and volleyball coach as well.

Another reliable source indicated the Fiji Rugby Union is closely monitoring the situation and is not alarmed at all as they know a number of top overseas coaches who are ready to come and take-over from Ryan.

Why is that? One of these suitors had already indicated that with abundance of talented rugby players in the country any coach could produce a world class team at any given time.

Feedback:  leonec@fijisun.com.fj

 

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