BEN Ryan can breathe a sigh of relief. The Fiji Rugby Union deputy chairman Daniel Whippy yesterday said they would not expect Ryan to immediately start winning with the Digicel Fiji 7s team, admitting the former England 7s mentor needed time to settle down.
He said while they wanted to see improvements in the national team's performance in the HSBC Sevens World Series, their main goal was winning the gold medal at the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Ryan was last month appointed the new Fiji 7s coach for the next three years.
"The response on Ben's appointment has been phenomenon. There is a lot of excitement and of course the expectations are high," Whippy said.
"We have had our successes in Fiji 7s rugby and the task is not the little battles, it's the war and the war is to win the first Olympic gold medal, that's our task.
"The board acknowledges that it's going to be tough and it will require patience in trying to achieve that one goal but we will support you (Ryan), back you, whether you win, you lose, we are looking at this long term."
Ryan, who arrived into the country on Tuesday, yesterday met players who he will lead to the Gold Coast 7s in Australia next week.
Five players will be making their debut in the IRB 7s series and they include Jiuta Takubu, Sakuisa Nadruku, Kelepi Namoua, Vucago Bainitabua and Sunia Kubu.
Manueli Laqai will skipper the team which has some experienced hands in Ulaiasi Lawavou, Samisoni Viriviri, Benito Masilevu and Ilai Tinai.
Coach Ryan is asking for patience and assured results will follow in due time.
"If the team wins the third title in a row in Gold Coast, don't start cheering for Ben Ryan. I will have nothing to do in that win, it will be the boys, it will be Alivereti Dere who has prepared the team," he said.
"I'm just going to give them as much confidence, make sure that they don't start to overly impress me, they play the relaxed Fijian rugby that can be pretty ruthless.
"I haven't coached them yet but I'm excited and looking forward to the Gold Coast 7s.
"I don't want to put too much pressure on the boys and keep talking about winning this and winning that, just want them to play to the best of their ability and everything else will work itself out."
Ryan will have a chance to gauge the weaknesses of the players in the Fiji Water Centennial International 7s tournament which will run concurrently with the Oceania 7s starting tomorrow at the ANZ Stadium in Suva.
Ulaiasi Lawavou, Jiuta Takubu, Manueli Laqai (captain), Samuela Saqiwa, Sakuisa Nadruku, Kelepi Namoua, Vucago Bainitabua, Ilai Tinai, Sunia Kubu, Donasio Ratubuli, Samisoni Viriviri, Benito Masilevu.