Rugby

Ryan takes charge of Fiji 7s

2013-09-20 11:39
Ben Ryan (Getty)

Suva - Successful England rugby Sevens coach Ben Ryan, who stepped down last month after six years, was appointed to take charge of Fiji on Friday.

His three-year appointment will run through to 2016 when Sevens makes its Olympic debut in Rio de Janeiro, the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) said.

Ryan, 42, will lead the team for the first leg of the 2013-14 IRB World Sevens Series which starts at the Gold Coast in Australia on October 12.

Fiji is one of the most successful Sevens teams in the world and won the World Cup in 1997 and 2005.

But they have been dogged by inconsistent performances in recent years.

Part of Ryan's brief is to "develop local coaches and the game in the Sevens code," the FRU said in a statement.

However, outgoing Fiji coach Alifereti Dere expected Ryan "will have a bit of difficulty getting to know how our boys play the Sevens game".

He said the Fijian players "should learn to adapt to the (new) coaching team and move on from there".

Under Ryan's tutelage, England reached the semi-finals or better 28 times in the world series and won titles in Wellington (2008, 2013), Dubai (2010, 2011) and London (2008).

They finished third overall three times during his six years in charge as well as reaching a World Cup final for the first time in 20 years when they were beaten by New Zealand 33-0 in Moscow three months ago.

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