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Not Again, Ben

It’s sad that former national rug­by sevens coach Ben Ryan has told the Sydney Morning Herald that he is the ‘No.1 hated man’ at the Fiji Rugby Union. Again this
28 Jan 2018 11:00
Not Again, Ben
Vodafone Sevens Coach Ben Ryan. Photo: RONALD KUMAR.

It’s sad that former national rug­by sevens coach Ben Ryan has told the Sydney Morning Herald that he is the ‘No.1 hated man’ at the Fiji Rugby Union.

Again this is far from the truth because the people at Rugby House have got nothing whatsoever against him.

Such claim made against FRU an affiliate of World Rugby questions Ryan’s credibility as an ambassa­dor of the sport through HSBC.

With limited resources, the FRU board members and management went out of their way to provide whatever Ryan wanted during his tenure as coach.

Yes, there were shortfalls but we’re just one of those Tier 2 rugby nations and don’t have millions of dollar at our disposal.Unlike Ryan’s homeland England.

Ryan knew that and even he had to foot the bills when he first started as coach. It was tough, but that is what rugby in the Pacific Island na­tions is all about.

We do value Ryan’s contribution but he has gone overboard with his scathing remarks against FRU, especially on our bid to host one of the World Sevens Series tourna­ments in 2020.

This has got to stop and Ryan should at least appreciate FRU for giving him the opportunity to re­deem himself as a coach by coach­ing our national sevens team.

He should be reminded that the Fijians had already won the World Sevens Series and lifted the Rugby Sevens World Cup title twice even before he came in.

The Olympic triumph was not of Ryan’s own doing as a coach but the support from FRU through the pool of talented players we have at our disposal.

This was best summed up by sev­ens rugby legend Eric Rush when he opposed Ryan’s appointment as New Zealand rugby sevens coach after Sir Gordon Tietjens in 2016.

“No, I wouldn’t (want Ryan to coach NZ) – we have got enough good coaches in this country,” Rush emphasised. “Don’t get me wrong, he did a great job with Fiji,” he said.

“Having the players is 80 per cent of the job for the coach. That last 20 per cent is pretty crucial, and he did that really well with Fiji and I take my hat off to him. He really nailed it for them, but … Everyone is just talking about the Fiji part, they have to remember he was the English coach for a while there too.”

And Ryan wasn’t a sucess there.Despite England’s millions.

Feedback: leonec@fijisun.com.fj

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