Ryan bets on Fiji to cause 2019 RWC upset

Ben Ryan with fans at the Fiji-Uruguay match last week. Picture : JEREMY DUXBURY

OLYMPICS 7s winning coach Ben Ryan gave the Fiji Airways Flying Fijians his nod of approval after last Saturday’s 7-68 thrashing of Uruguay in Hartpury near Gloucester.

“Out of everybody outside the top nations that are looking to cause an upset at next year’s Rugby World Cup, Fiji looks like they have the best chance of doing that and knocking over a top tier team,”

Ryan told The Fiji Times. “Fiji’s set pieces are excellent now. They should be really proud, it’s an exciting side and they will only get better and better. They look a class side – there’s a few little holes to fill, but they must have serious intentions of getting to the quarter-finals at the next World Cup.”

Ryan also brought up the long-held view of an inherent bias against smaller nations, especially Pacific island teams.

“There is definitely some subconscious bias against Fiji at set pieces, 50-50s, scrums, line-outs… these decisions don’t necessarily go Fiji’s way against top nations.”

**More in tomorrow’s edition of The Fiji Times

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