DESPITE meeting his own countrymen in the second Cup quarter-final at the 2013 Gold Coast Sevens at the weekend, national sevens coach Ben Ryan remained loyal to his adopted country until the final whistle.
This is the view of team manager Isei Rayawa who observed how the national sevens reps felt comfortable around their new coach.
"It was a new tournament and a new coach but they blended well even though they spent a very short time together," he said.
"He showed the boys his loyalty and he inspired the boys before we played England.
"He mentioned that even though he was an Englishman, he was with Fiji, so that's what really inspired the boys."
Rayawa said while Fiji went down to the Englishmen at the end of the major playoffs, the boys and their coach were determined to improve their performance in their next game.
"Even though — when things did not go according to plan and the boys were disappointed — we are grateful and inspired by the fact that our new coach, going up against his former team, showed us he is loyal to Fiji.
"So as we went on, we were looking forward to learning more from him.
"He is one of the very highly experienced coaches and the boys respect him.
"This first tournament showed us how he is as a coach and the boys have learnt a lot despite the short time they spent together."
Ryan was not part of the team that arrived in the country yesterday, he will return in about a week and will pick his team for the next two tournaments of the IRB Sevens World Series.