14 May, 2016, 12:00 am
THERE is no other way for Vodafone Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan but to retain the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series title.
If they do, Ryan will add another colourful pin onto his belt, making him the only coach who has ever won a back to back series titles for Fiji.
He equalled Waisale Serevi’s achievement on the coaching field with the series win last year.
Leading the table with 147 points, even if Fiji finishes fourth in Paris, they will remain the leader with 162 points.
If the Blitzboks win in Paris, they will settle at 161 points and if Gordon Tietjens’ man return with the Paris title, they will still be five points away should Fiji settle for the fourth position.
This is why Ryan wants a win in the quarter-final to give them a good stand going into London.
At the beginning of the series, Ryan had told this newspaper that the main goal was winning gold in Rio and winning the series was secondary.
But now with Fiji leading the points table, there is no other way for the Englishman.
At the beginning of their camp, he twitted, “â€¦ the start of a big final finish in the @WorldRugby7s series. Attack the back to back series title — no other way.”
New Zealand is the only team that has won the series back to back and have won it 12 times since the 1999/2000 series.
Fiji has won it twice and South Africa and Samoa have also tasted winning the series once.
And now that he has selected his final team for the Paris 7s and the return of lanky Leone Nakarawa, Josua Tuisova, speedwing Samisoni Viriviri and Waisea Nayacalevu, the team stands a good chance to boost their lead after the Paris 7s.
The final team for this weekend’s Paris 7s is made up of Apisai Domolailai; Jasa Veremalua; Waisea Nayacalevu; Isake Katonibau; Leone Nakarawa; Amenoni Nasilasila; Osea Kolinisau; Josua Tuisova; Jerry Tuwai; Kitione Taliga; Samisoni Viriviri;Vatemo Ravouvou.