Wales appoint Fiji Olympic sevens hero Ryan


Ben Ryan, the coach who guided Fiji to Olympic sevens gold in 2016, has been appointed by the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU) in a consultancy role.

Ryan was the mastermind as Fiji won the first gold in the country's history in Rio de Janeiro, beating Great Britain 43-7 in the final.

The Englishman was made a Companion of the Order of Fiji - the country's highest honour - in the wake of that success but stood down from his role as coach.

Ryan has been working with the NBA since leaving Fiji and will now lend his expertise to Wales' age-grade and sevens sides.

"Ben Ryan's appointment is a real coup for Welsh Rugby," said head of rugby performance Geraint John.

"He is a much sought after high performance coach, who has been courted around the globe since his significant successes with the Fijian national sevens side.

"We are particularly interested in benefitting from the meticulous attention to detail and major planning experience which Ben showed to maximum effect during the Olympics in Rio and we want him to cover the whole of our performance division from U20s, U18s to the Women's game and, of course, his specific experience in sevens is a huge bonus.

"Ben will also be on hand to enhance our coach development program where he will support our coaches through his knowledge and experience of the world game. This will be done through a series of club visits and coach development sessions."

Ryan added: "I'm delighted to be joining the WRU in what is an incredibly exciting role and I am really looking forward to all that lies ahead."

The WRU has also appointed former Exeter Chiefs director of rugby Peter Drewett as their new performance coach manager, a role he will begin from March 1.