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Ben gives time

Rashneel Kumar
Thursday, January 09, 2014

THE Fiji Rugby Union yesterday revealed that Ben Ryan had made "two personal sacrifices" in taking up the national 7s head coach job.

This following the revelation that Ryan has not being paid for his service until now.

The Englishman was appointed as Alifereti Dere's replacement in late September last year on a three-year contract up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

FRU acting chief executive officer and board director Doctor Berlin Kafoa said there was a mutual agreement between Ryan and the union.

"This is to confirm that Ryan volunteered for three months after being appointed as national coach due to the financial situation of the FRU," Dr Kafoa said in a statement.

"The FRU and Fiji are indeed grateful to Ben Ryan who made two personal sacrifices when he accepted his appointment.

"Firstly the package offered is less than what Ben would have earned in England and secondly he volunteered at a time when FRU was facing financial difficulties.

"Ryan's impact and passion about 7s rugby has shown results in Dubai. The FRU is indebted to Ryan for taking on the task and taking the team to greater heights on a voluntary basis.

"Ben Ryan has officially signed his FRU contract which will be until 2016 and we look forward to working closely with him. We as a nation should applaud a foreign individual who is willing to make personal sacrifices for the love of rugby in Fiji."

Ryan said he was grateful for the opportunity to coach the Fijian side.

"It is a very exciting time coming up for Fijian rugby and I'm very grateful to be part of this unique journey," the former England 7s coach said.

"I am loving being in the country and working with the team and I just want to give it my all to help contribute as much as I can."

Dr Kafoa said they had applied for a grant allocated in the 2014 national budget for professional overseas coaches to help the union pay Ryan's salary.

Fiji National Sports Commission chairman Peter Mazey confirmed FRU as one of the applicants for the grant.

FRU along with Fiji Netball, Fiji Volleyball, the Boxing Commission of Fiji and Fiji Table Tennis Association will be meeting with the commission tomorrow to finalise the grant.

"Fiji Rugby has applied for the 7s coach and also for the 15s," Mazey told Times Sport.

"We will certainly be considering for what he (Ryan) has been doing for the country and he proves what international coaches can do for Fiji."

Meanwhile, the Fiji 7s squad continues with its preparation for the third leg of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series in Las Vegas and Wellington.

Ryan will name his 16-member squad tomorrow.








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