Ben Ryan has confirmed that he is leaving his position as Fiji 7s coach
The Englishman led the Fijians to Olympic gold at the Games in Rio de Janeiro
Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O’Connor confirmed the news in a statement
Fiji rugby officials accepted Friday that they had lost gold-medal winning sevens maestro Ben Ryan and confirmed they would now advertise for a new coach.
Both rugby officials and the government have courted Ryan since the sevens team won Fiji’s first ever Olympic medal, hoping the 44-year-old Englishman would stay.
He has been awarded Fiji’s highest civilian offer, been showered with gifts including a prime parcel of land in the South Pacific island nation, and talks were under way to give Ryan and his family Fiji passports.
“The Fiji Rugby Union has today confirmed that after discussions with coach Ben Ryan, that the position of Fiji sevens head coach will be advertised,” Fiji Rugby Union chief executive John O’Connor said in a statement.
“The discussions with Ben indicates his desire to take a break from rugby by returning home to England and to explore options for his future undertaking.”
O’Connor said that the door was always open to Ryan should he decide to get back into coaching.
“Ryan is most welcome to reapply for the position should he have a change of heart,” he added.
Ryan has been inundated with job offers since his side’s triumph at the Rio Olympics, one of which is a lucrative off from the Japan Rugby Union.