Gollings did not meet desired standards: FRU

March 8, 2024 4:56 pm

Former Fiji Airways Men’s 7s coach Ben Gollings

The Fiji Rugby Union says it decided to part ways with former Fiji Airways Men’s 7s coach Ben Gollings due to his inability to meet the desired standards and expectations set forth by the organization.

Fiji Rugby Union Trustee Chair Peter Mazey says while Gollings’ contributions are appreciated, Rugby House believes that fresh perspectives and expertise are required to achieve optimal performance on the international stage.

During a press conference at Rugby House today, Mazey reveals that Gollings had been served a verbal warning and three written warnings, over the course of his employment, before his termination.

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Mazey says the organization must prioritize its ultimate goal of securing medals for Fiji in sevens rugby at the Paris Olympics in July.

The Interim Chair earlier announced today that former Fiji 7s captain and 2016 Olympic gold medallist Osea Kolinisau will replace Gollings.

Mazey says Kolinisau brings a wealth of experience and a proven track record and possesses a World Rugby Level 2 coaching certificate.

Kolinisau will be supported by experienced Strength and Conditioning coach Ian Gibbons, who has had previous stints in a similar role with Japan Rugby, Saracens and the USA soccer team.

Mazey adds Gibbons will work with renowned S&C coach Nacanieli Cawanibuka, who comes into the frame as a consultant.

According to the FRU, Kolinisau had contacted Rugby House on December 8th last year, expressing his interest for the coach’s position.

“I’d like to make sure that you’re all very clear that the decision was not made under duress but through a due process and consultations with experts within the rugby fraternity. In moving forward, the FRU Board of Trustees and management met with the players and technical staff of the national side this morning to reaffirm their full support, going into the last leg of the World Sevens Series as well as the Paris Olympics.”

Mazey says the FRU also envisions creating a position titled “Director of 7s Rugby” with experts such as Waisale Serevi, Ben Ryan and Gareth Baber to manage the 7s rugby program.

Meanwhile Kolinisau is expected to take up the Fiji 7s coaching role from Monday.