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Fiji Rugby appoints Ben Gollings as Fijian 7s Head Coach

The Fiji Rugby Union is happy to announce Ben Gollings as the new Fiji Airways Fijian 7s Team. The Fiji Rugby Union has confirmed that after a vigorous recruitment process and due diligence, they are excited to announce and confirm the appointment of former England 7s international Ben Gollings as the next Fiji Airways Fijian 7s Head Coach for next 3 years.

FRU Chief Executive Officer Mr. John O’Connor confirmed that Gollings stood out in the interviews and the Board and Management are confident that Ben is the best person to take on the challenges that are ahead of us and take the Olympic Gold medal winners to even greater heights with the upcoming HSBC 7s Series, the Rugby 7s World Cup, Commonwealth Games and beyond.

O’Connor highlighted that Ben was thorough in presenting his detailed plans for the Commonwealth Games, the World Cup, the HSBC World Rugby Sevens Series and ultimately, the Olympic Games in 2024.

Apart from being a World Rugby level 3 Coach, Gollings also has a Certificate 4 Accreditation from the Australian Institute of fitness which is of vital importance since we are in transition phase, and we have a new strength and condition coach with Naca Cawanibuka moving on to the Fijian Drua.

Gollings has been involved in Rugby 7s at the highest level for 20 years, having now coached 6 national teams and most recently been engaged with the Sri Lanka Rugby Union. Gollings has also been the High-Performance Consultant and Head Coach of the Singaporean national team and most recently he was the Assistant Coach of the Canadian Men’s 7s team. Gollings as a player brought tenacity and leadership in the English team during his playing days and most Fijian fans would remember him as the greatest threat every time Fiji had played the Englishmen during those times. 

FRU Board Chairman, Commodore Humphrey Tawake thanked the FRU Board Directors that constituted the interview panel which was given the most difficult task of interviewing the caliber of coaches who had applied and were shortlisted. Commodore Tawake highlighted that the full Board endorsed and fully supported the recommendations of the interview panel and welcomed Gollings’ appointment.

Commodore Tawake said “I would like to thank everyone involved in the interview process and special thanks to the shortlisted candidates who made the interview panel’s work so difficult. I fully support the appointment of Ben in the role as he represents everything that Fiji Rugby had envisioned in the new Head Coach, and I am sure he will lead the team to greater success”.

Ben Gollings is expected to start in his new roles from 1st January 2022 and he is very excited and honored to have been appointed as the Fijian 7s Coach.

“We had many great battles when I was playing over the years but since I have shifted into coaching, I think it’s no better opportunity to coach the World’s best team in the 7s arena.

I am thankful to Fiji Rugby for giving me the opportunity to coach this team and am looking forward to working with the exceptional group of boys in Fiji. The immediate focus of course is towards the HBSC Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games and the Sevens World Cup next year in South Africa” said Gollings.

He further added “Winning two Gold Medal back-to-back is something special and I know it’s a big challenge to take on but I believe that my passion for the game meets the passion of the nation so if we can match the two together and enhance the talent in Fiji then we could achieve our ultimate goals in the coming years.”

“I was in Dubai during the first two legs, and I got to watch the Fijian 7s performance live. Obviously, it’s a very new look team so I think my first real focus is just to observe and have really important conversations and start building some key relationships, understanding and the way they have been training so that I really push on the right button” said Gollings.

Ben Gollings is expected to arrive in Fiji early next month and will be out scouting and watching the players during the Super Sevens Series from the 6th to the 8th of January at Lawaqa Park in Sigatoka.

Meanwhile, Mr. O’Connor thanked all the applicants, the rugby fans and all stakeholders for their patience and wishes the new Head Coach success in his role.

He also highlighted that the interview panel was impressed with the performance of Osea Kolinisau during the interview. He was calm and very articulate and very matured, and Fiji Rugby would like to work with Osea get his relevant coaching accreditation and bring him back to the 7s Systems to start working with the 7s Teams

Meanwhile, the CEO Fiji Rugby on behalf of the President of Fiji Rugby Union, the Chairman and the Board Directors, Management, Staff and all the players would like to wish all the affiliate unions, players and supporters (Fiji and abroad) a very merry and blessed Christmas and a prosperous and successful 2022.

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