SPORTS

Go Toe To Toe

  Ben Ryan will deliver a special message to the Vodafone Flying Fijians at the Lensbury Hotel in London tomorrow. The former Vodafone Fijians 7s coach will conduct the jersey
18 Nov 2016 11:56
Go Toe To Toe
Vodafone Sevens Coach Ben Ryan. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

 

Ben Ryan will deliver a special message to the Vodafone Flying Fijians at the Lensbury Hotel in London tomorrow.

The former Vodafone Fijians 7s coach will conduct the jersey presentation to the team ahead of the test against England at Twickenham on Sunday at 3.30am.

Despite the publicity that the Fijians who will take to the field this weekend are being paid £60 a day – a sum dwarfed by the £22,000 their opponents receive for each international, Ryan said Fijians should be out to prove a point that money is not everything.

He is confident of making the bold statement having won two World Sevens Series and a gold medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics in August operating on a shoe-string budget.

Vodafone Flying Fijians head coach John McKee readily agree more money could improve their game, but insists they’re used to working within constraints to make rugby tick the best they can.

“When I see Akapusi Qera (captain) on Friday and how he’s looking, it’ll give me a good indication of where the boys are,” Ryan told Sky Sports.

“They’ll want to prove that money counts for nothing when it’s 15 against 15 on the field.

“We have talked about everything that is piled against the Fijians but it’s a game of rugby. If the boys remember that, can retain the ball and stop England draining the life out of them at set pieces, they can go toe to toe.”

Ryan does not blame Fijian-born Nathan Hughes who is likely to play for England on Sunday, pointing the finger at the lack of resources in Fiji, but believes the creation of a Super Rugby team on the island would be a game-changer.

“It shows that Nathan has good character; he was honest. You’re not going to moan at any player who goes overseas to earn some money.

“We should stop complaining about that, fight fire with fire and have money on the island through a franchise.

“If you’re looking at England, it’s resources and consistency, he’s going to get a fair crack. Whereas in Fiji sometimes, coaches and committees have come and gone, and you’ve been dropped for no apparent reason.

“That could be behind Nathan’s thinking, that he’s going into a resourced team that can win things.”

Edited Paula Tuvuki

Feedback:  oseab@fijisun.com.fj



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Tower Insurance
Advertise here
Covid 19 - SPC
Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper