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Get Expat Or Give Tanivula A Fair Go

Coach Ben Ryan has left behind an indelible mark. It would be impossible to find a perfect fit to match the ginger-haired Englishman achievements for Fiji in the last three
28 Aug 2016 10:48
Get Expat Or  Give Tanivula  A Fair Go
Former England 7s rep Chris Cracknell assists the team

Coach Ben Ryan has left behind an indelible mark. It would be impossible to find a perfect fit to match the ginger-haired Englishman achievements for Fiji in the last three years

Winning the World Sevens Series back-to-back and capping off with the historic Olympic gold medal in Rio is a mammoth achievement.

But at the same time we should not be belittling or underestimating our local coaches in our bid to continue the good work set by Ryan.

We could look offshore and get an expat or keep our faith in the coaching team who had been working closely with Ryan for the past three years.

It’s the best way moving forward as we gear up to defend the World Sevens Series title beginning in Dubai on December 2-3 and December 10-11 in Cape Town.

With Ryan departing for England later this week, we look at the contenders likely to replace him

 

CHRIS CRACKNELL

The former England 7s player was brought in by Ryan in 2014 as his skills coach before being confirmed by the Fiji Rugby Union as the assistant coach in 2015. He was later promoted as the head coach for the Telecom Fijiana team.

Pros: He knows how the Ryan’s system works and what’s involved in building a champion team and could liaise with Ryan to keep progress on track.

Cons: Need to be firm and resolute in dealing with players. The Fijiana disappointment in Rio reflects on the need to learn more on how Fijians can tick and click.

 

ILIESA TANIVULA

Pros- The most under-rated although Fiji Rugby Union always rely on him when things don’t work out at Rugby House.

His impressive record as coach for Nadi in the provincial competition and for the Warriors convinced the FRU to offer him the head coaching job of the Fijian sevens team replacing Waisale Serevi.

The FRU appointed him head coach for the Fijiana and has been closely with Ryan for the past two years.

But he was abruptly relegated to Cracknell’s assistant for the Olympics. It didn’t work, with Tanivula ready to come home early.

Cons: always copped a lot of flak for his off the field demeanor.

 

OSEA KOLINISAU

Pros- There’s no better player who worked hard with Ryan for the last three years than Kolinisau.

Hardworking, dedicated, exemplary leader, humble and down to earth.

Cons; It’s almost impossible to turn any player to be a successful coach overnight.

Needs to learn, study to make a name for himself in the coaching arena.

Rugby sevens is a new ball game since it’s now an Olympic sport. Ryan has shown us how it’s done and we can do it again with the right team in place.

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