Coach inspires the nation

WITH the world now his oyster, former Fijian sevens coach Ben Ryan has more opportunities than he can shake a stick at. Movie deals, speaking tours, a book and now the possibility of a Super Rugby franchise. Even the New York Knicks basketball team wanted Ryan after the Olympics Rugby Sevens victory – what better way to inspire a side than through the coach of a tiny nation which defied all odds to snatch gold at the biggest spectacle on Earth?

“The New York Knicks players knew about Fiji sevens, they’d watched it in the locker room and were amazed with the athleticism of our boys and the similarities of the offloading and passing in basketball,” Ryan told the South China Morning Post. While many coaches looked at the Olympics as an assignment, for Ryan it was a time to learn. “At the Olympics there’s coaches there that have huge experience at world level from different sports and I just wanted to gain as much information and suck them dry of their knowledge, and I’ve continued to do that,” he said.

“There’s things you take and you plagiarise. Whatever it is, there’s things basketball teams might do around their offence or defence or their yoga or meditation that the Knicks are doing…..

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