Ben Ryan is an English rugby union coach who is best known for coaching the Fiji sevens team to a gold medal in sevens rugby at the 2016 Rio Olympics.

As Fiji's sevens coach from 2013 to 2016, he guided the team to their first-ever Dubai 7's title and set the record of tournament titles won by a Fiji Sevens coach with nine. The gold medal was the first-ever medal won by Fiji at any Olympics. 

Fiji is one of the most underfunded and under-resourced countries on the planet and in this episode Ben shares: 

  • How to create a culture around “The Standard you walk past is the Standard you become”

  • Bens love for each and every one of the players and the lengths he went to build rapport and trust with each of the players

  • Skill acquisition, attention to detail and how he fine-tuned the Fijian offload game to be the deadliest on the planet

  • Ben explains how he overcame his ego when he was England to focus on team success, not individual success

  • Building lifelong relationships with his manager Ropate Kauvesi and Captain Osea Kolinisau to take the team to gold in Rio.

  • How to create a safe environment for any team or business where players feel safe and believe in the common purpose

This episode was mind-blowing for me and it spoke to the true nature of what it means to coach and lead a team. 

Wherever you fit into the world of rugby this episode is an absolute must-listen. 


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0:58) Ben’s Wikipedia


(1:02) Ben’s Book, Seven’s Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream


(1:32) Fji’s Sevens Performance at the 2016 Rio Olympics


(1:56) Ben Coaching England’s Sevens


(4:24) Sleep and Water (Website Coming Soon


(5:56) Ben’s Appointment for Fiji Sevens


(9:28) RFU: Rugby Football Union


(13:19) (16:25) Naca Cawanibuka, Fiji Sevens Strength and Conditioning Coach


(13:37) (16:28) Chris Cracknell, Fiji Men’s Skills Coach, Women’s Head Coach


(14:08) (22:36) (49:42) Ropate Kauvesi, Fiji Sevens Manager


(18:25) James Rodwell, Most Capped HSBC World Rugby Sevens Player


(21:51) Isoa Damu, Fijian-born England Sevens Player


(22:41) (34:39) Osea Kolinisau, Fiji Sevens Captain


(26:20) Sir Gordon Tietjens


(29:48) Sir Alex Ferguson, Iconic Football Coach


(36:11) Fijian Sevens Training on Sand Dunes


(37:41) Samisoni Viriviri, Fijian Sevens Player


(38:12) Jerry Tuwai, World Rugby Men’s Sevens Player of the Year


(39:12) Johan Cruyff, Football Legend


(42:05) Joe Simpson, Gloucester Rugby Player


(42:09) Riki Flutey, Rugby Coach


(50:18) Fiji Gold Beer


(1:08:50) Seven’s Heaven: The Beautiful Chaos of Fiji’s Olympic Dream


More About Ben