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Fiji Rugby Announces Strategic Changes in Sevens Rugby Coaching Staff

8th March 2024 Suva, Fiji – Fiji Rugby today announced significant changes to its sevens rugby coaching staff in the pursuit of Olympic glory at the upcoming Summer Olympics in France. Following a thorough assessment of performance on the HSBC Sevens Series, it was deemed necessary to make strategic adjustments to ensure the trajectory towards medal attainment remains steadfast.

After careful consideration and unanimous agreement, Fiji Rugby has decided to part ways with Ben Gollings due to his inability to meet the desired standards and expectations set forth by the organization. While his contributions are appreciated, Fiji Rugby believes that fresh perspectives and expertise are required to achieve optimal performance on the international stage.

“It is with a heavy heart that we bid farewell to Ben Gollings. His dedication and efforts have been commendable, but we must prioritize our ultimate goal of securing medals for Fiji in sevens rugby at the Summer Olympics,” stated Mr. Peter Mazey, Chairman at Fiji Rugby.

In line with this commitment to excellence, Fiji Rugby is pleased to announce the appointment of Osea Kolinisau as the new coach of the Fiji Airways Fijian 7s team. Kolinisau brings with him a wealth of experience and a proven track record of success at the highest level of competition, including winning Fiji’s first Gold medal and a deep understanding of the unique demands of elite sevens rugby.

“We are confident that our new coach will provide the leadership, guidance, and strategic direction necessary to elevate the performance of our sevens rugby team and position Fiji for success at the Summer Olympics,” added Mr. Mazey.

Kolinisau will be supported by an experienced Strength and Conditioning Coach, Ian Gibbons, who comes into the fold with an impeccable resume’ as a high-performance coach specializing in Rugby 7s and XV’s. Gibbons who previously was S&C Coach for Saracens Rugby, US Men’s Soccer team, Seattle Seawolves and Japan Rugby Union will work with Naca Cawanibuka who comes in as consultant. Positive feedback has been received from the Fiji Airways Fijian side about the impact Gibbons has delivered since joining the team before the Vancouver 7s tournament.

The decision to go on this path was not easy and was in no way made under pressure from external elements outside rugby house as processes had to be followed as guided by the contract laws of Fiji. Fiji Rugby was contacted by Kolinisau on the 8th of December with an Expression of Interest, and we continued with this correspondence regarding his wilingess to coach and uplift the team performance. FRU would like to make it clear that the decision was not made under duress but through due process and consultations with experts within the rugby fraternity.

In moving forward, FRU Board of Trustees and Management met with the players and technical staff of the national 7s side this morning to reaffirm their full support going into the last leg of the 7s series and the Summer Olympics. FRU also envisions creating a position titled “Director of 7s Rugby” with experts like Waisele Serevi, Gareth Barber or Ben Ryan to manage our Sevens Rugby program.

Fiji Rugby expresses its gratitude to Ben Gollings and his efforts and wishes him the best in his future endeavors. The organization looks forward to embarking on this new chapter with renewed determination and unwavering commitment to representing Fiji with pride and excellence on the global stage.

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