FRU Fires Ben Gollings, Appoints Osea Kolinisau

FRU has parted ways with Fiji 7s men’s coach Ben Gollings due to his “inability to meet the desired standards and expectations set forth by the organisation and within his contract” four months short of the Paris Olympics.

Former 7s captain Osea Kolinisau, 38, who captained the Fiji 7s team to Fiji’s historic Olympic Gold medal win at the 2016 Rio Olympics will take over the coaching role, starting next Monday, March 11. Bill Satala will stay on as his assistant. Ian Gibbons is the new S&C coach assisted by Cawanibuka.

“This decision was not made under duress but it was through due process and consultations,” FRU Trustee Chairman Peter Maizey said in a press conference today.

Gollings who took over the reins in December 2021 was warned at least more than once, the first time in November last year. He secured his first tournament win, in charge, in Singapore in April 2022 and claimed second place in the subsequent Vancouver tournament on April 16-17. The 7s team redeemed themselves in the following Toulouse tournament on May 20-22, marking their second and final victory in the HSBC World Rugby 7s Series to date.

Fast forward two months to Birmingham on July 31, Fiji clinched second place in the Commonwealth Games, losing to South Africa 31-7. However, they swiftly rebounded in Cape Town in September, securing the Rugby World Cup 7s title by defeating New Zealand 29-12. This victory marked Fiji’s first RWC 7s Gold medal since 2005.

As the announcement was made in Suva around 1pm today, Gollings was on Denarau Island packing.

Maizey also indicated that Fiji’s two previous Olympics 7s winning coaches Ben Ryan and Gareth Baber have expressed their interest in returning as Director of 7s Rugby, and so too has the country’s 7s maestro Waisale Serevi.

The FRU met with players yesterday to relay the news.

Kolinisau, whom FRU has been in contact with since December 8, is expected to arrive in Fiji this weekend. Kolinisau has a Level 2 coaching certificate. He was the coach of the Chinese Women’s team, during which he catapulted their ranking from 24 to No.1 in Asia. Kolinisau has also been coaching around North America.

The Paris Olympics is scheduled for July 26-August 11 this year.

Photo: File

Foodie Night 1327x198 ad(1)
Top Stories