Ben Ryan: ‘I’ve been more nervous than the Olympic final often’

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Fiji’s gold-winning sevens coach at Rio 2016 reflects on the band of brothers he forged into a successful team and how they landed the country’s first ever Olympic medal

“I much preferred Fiji – even with a dictator in charge, a boss who was convicted for manslaughter, my phone being bugged, the bankruptcy and black magic – than my last year at the RFU,” says Ben Ryan, as he sips on a double espresso and reminisces about an extraordinary journey that culminated in him guiding Fiji’s sevens side to Olympic gold in Rio.

We are in a cafe not far from Twickenham, where Ryan worked for six years as the England sevens coach before falling foul of what he calls the Rugby Football Union’s “machiavellian” struggles for power and influence, “with people above you who can only be trusted never to be trustworthy”.

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Written by Sean Ingle
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/sport/2018/may/14/fiji-olympic-final-sevens-rugby-union-coach-ben-ryan-gold-medal-coach under the title “Ben Ryan: ‘I’ve been more nervous than the Olympic final often’”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.