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Ryan is returning to Fiji with the team before heading back to London

Ryan is returning to Fiji with the team before heading back to London

By Vijay Narayan
Monday 15/08/2016
Fiji 7s Coach Ben Ryan.

Victorious Fiji 7s coach, Ben Ryan says he is coming back to Fiji "to try and hide" before leaving his job as coach.

After nearly three years in the job, Ryan's contract expires on September 3rd, and he's not of a mind to renew it.

That despite admitting Fijians had helped restore his "fire" - on a personal and professional level - after his spell as England's longest serving sevens coach from 2007 to 2013 left him dis-illusioned with the power brokers at the Rugby Football Union and questioning his future in the game.

Three years on and Ryan will return to Fiji as a national hero after his team won the country's first ever Olympic medal with a victory in Rio that had strangers to the game of sevens all over the world almost as blown away as Great Britain's players were in the final.

He's going back for the celebrations and to see out his contract and then it's on to new pastures.

The South China Morning Report says that you would suspect Prime Minister, Voreqe Bainimarama provided Ryan with anything he demanded to sign another contract, but the Englishman seemed determined to try something new.

Whether his next step is Super Rugby, England's Premiership, or another job on the sevens scene, it was clear that the people of Fiji have given him enough memories and experiences to last a lifetime.

Ben Ryan says he has had an 80‑year‑old walk eight hours to training to shake his hand and he was just lost for words.

Ryan will be glad to return to London, and his beloved Brentford FC, although he admitted he's unsure if he should "jump off the sevens train" in pursuit of a 15s job just as that train is gaining serious momentum.

But having "learned so much and grown" in his spell in Fiji, he hopes not to forget those lessons as he returns to London then wherever the next move takes him.

Ryan says living in West London you worry about where you'll go out for your next meal, is your Sky TV box filled up with your latest series. Back at home in Fiji it's the simple things you really enjoy - the company of everybody else, talking to each other, not being on your phone all the time.

He says when he goes back to London, he will certainly try to keep that Fijian way of thinking.


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