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Ryan: Kolinisau Best Captain Ever

Former Fijian 7s coach, Ben Ryan in a video tweeted by World Rugby, said Kolinisau was the best captain he has ever coached.
29 Oct 2021 17:48
Ryan: Kolinisau Best Captain Ever
World Rugby Hall of Fame inductee Osea Kolinisau during an interview

Rio Olympics gold winning sevens captain, Osea Kolini­sau is the second Fijian to be inducted into the World Rugby Hall of Fame.

The first was the maestro and king of sevens, Waisale Serevi in 2013.

Kolinisau, HOF inductee 149, who captained Fiji from 2013-17, ap­peared in a record 62 events on the World Series.

He was inducted with five others – Kenya’s Humphrey Kayange, Black Ferns legend Huriana Manuel-Car­penter, Australia’s Cheryl McAfee, Will Carling from England and Jim Telfer (Scotland) on Wednesday.

Former Fijian 7s coach, Ben Ryan in a video tweeted by World Rugby, said Kolinisau was the best captain he has ever coached.

“Well, the best captain I’ve ever been fortunate enough to coach,” Ryan said.

“Been a long journey for Oscar, so many ups and downs in his ca­reer, but he’s been somebody that’s always gone a lit­tle bit under the radar and that’s part of who he is. He serves.

“He puts other people first but he’s the player that leads by ex­ample. He’s always had the most meters made; made the least errors, made the most tackles, gets the most line breaks.

“And obviously, well, we just wouldn’t have won the Olympic gold medal in Rio 2016 if it wasn’t for Osea’s leadership on and off the field. He’s a great man.

“He’s someone that passed out on my shoulder after a match and it was a match that actually we’d already been knocked out of – to show to the rest of the team how important it is to bounce back after defeat.

“I’m so very lucky to count him as a friend. I miss him, sending my love to him and his family. And I wish him huge success in the fu­ture. Osea I salute you,” he said.

Kolinisau is the most capped player for the Fijian men’s nation­al team, he led the team to back to back victories at the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series in the 2014/15 and 2015/16, a first for Fiji.

The utility back scored 1272 points, second behind Serevi who scored 1310 points.

In an interview with World Rugby Hall of Fame chairman and former Wallaby skipper John Eales, Kolini­sau said he never saw it coming.

“I’m humbled, I never dreamt that I would be inducted into the WR Hall of Fame,” Kolinisau said.

“I played rugby for the love of it and to be inducted into the Hall of Fame with rugby stars that I grew up idolising is a privilege and an honour.”

Kolinisau said winning Fiji’s first Olympic gold was his most memo­rable moment.

Asked why Fiji has been dominant in men’s sevens rugby over the years he said: “Rugby sevens is the national sport of Fiji, and you grow up around the sport of rugby. The way we play sevens is different to others.

“We play from a young age which is called “Fijian touch”, we try to keep the ball alive and it translates to the way we play rugby sevens.”

Kolinisau retired from top level sevens in May 2017 before trying his hand at 15s in the USA; initially with Houston Sabercats and then briefly for Old Glory DC.

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