16 Jan 2017

Sport: Fiji Rugby and PM pay tribute to Ryan

12:56 pm on 16 January 2017

Despite not being up for coach of the year at the inaugural Fiji Rugby Awards, former Olympic Gold medal winning coach Ben Ryan has been inducted into the Wall of Fame.

The award nominations sparked controversy when Ryan was left off the list of finalists for coach of the year in favour of three local club coaches.

Fiji sevens coach Ben Ryan.

Ryan led the Fiji sevens team to consecutive world series titles and an Olympic gold Photo: PHOTOSPORT

The apparent snub came a month after Ryan had tangled with the Fiji Rugby Union over player payments.

However the FRU said Ryan had simply not been nominated by any local club affiliates.

At Saturday's event Fiji's Prime Minister Frank Bainimarama paid tribute to Ryan and the Englishman was inducted into the Wall of Fame alongside Apakuki Tuitavua, Ratu Sir George Cakobau, Barry Sweetman and Pio Bosco Tikoisuva.

Former sevens maestro Waisale Serevi was also given a lifetime achievement award.

Get the RNZ app

for ad-free news and current affairs