It’s Never Too Late: FRU On Fiji 7s Coach Shift from Gollings to Kolinisau for Paris Olympics Gold

The Fiji Rugby Union is confident in Osea Kolinisau’s ability to lead the Fiji 7s men’s team, with just four months remaining before the highly anticipated Paris Olympics.

Kolinisau takes over from Ben Gollings, who has been let go by FRU, nine months before his contract expires. Gollings’ three-year contract with the FRU, signed in December 2021, meant that he was to remain as coach until the end of this year, overseeing Fiji in the HSBC 7s Series, the Commonwealth Games, the Rugby World Cup 7s, and the Paris Olympics.

However, today, the FRU decided to part ways with Gollings, turning to Kolinisau to lead the charge, confident that it is never too late to rebuild and succeed.

“So he thinks he can do the job since he has taken on the challenge. It’s never too late,” FRU Board of Trustee member Jenny Seeto said when Mai TV asked if winning in Paris was achievable in a press conference convened at Rugby House today to announce the transition on the heels of warnings to Gollings, despite recent successes, including a Rugby World Cup 7s title in September 2022.

“I don’t think it’s ever too late to do anything if everybody works together as a team, the players and the coaching management,” Seeto said.

Kolinisau was the captain of the team that created history by winning Fiji’s first Olympic Gold medal and the first for rugby in its first year as an Olympic sport in the 2016 Rio Olympics. Fiji made it back-to-back at the Tokyo Olympics and is eyeing a treble when the quadrennial tournament kicks off in Paris on July 26 this year.

Kolinisau is expected to arrive in Fiji this weekend and start in the role on Monday, March 11.

The Marist 7s tournament scheduled for March 21-23 is set to play a crucial role in Kolinisau’s preparations, providing him with an opportunity to assess new talent.

FRU officials also alluded to the potential inclusion of 7s wizard Jerry Tuwai, who they said Kolinisauwanted back on the team.

“Osea has indicated he wants Jerry if he can get up to that standard. Jerry is training very hard and ready to go to the Marist 7s and prove himself,” FRU Trustee Chair Peter Mazey said.

Kolinisau, who boasts a Level 2 coaching certificate, has been in contact with FRU since December 8. His coaching experience includes elevating the Chinese Women’s team from 24th to No.1 in Asia. Kolinisau has also been actively involved in coaching around North America.

The Paris Olympics runs until Sunday, August 11.

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FRU Fires Ben Gollings, Appoints Osea Kolinisau

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