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Summary

This is the story of how one man changed a nation, how that nation changed the man and how together they made sporting history.

It is late summer 2013. Ben Ryan, a red-haired, 40-something, spectacle-wearing Englishman, is given 20 minutes to decide whether he wants to coach Fiji's rugby sevens team, with the aim of taking them to the nation's first-ever Olympic medal. He has never been to Fiji. There has been no discussion of contracts or salary. But he knows that no one plays rugby like the men from these isolated Pacific islands, just as no one plays football like the kids from the Brazilian favelas, or no one runs as fast as the boys and girls from Jamaica's boondocks. He knows, too, that no other rugby nation has so little - no money and no resources, only basic equipment and a long, sad history of losing its most gifted players to richer, greedier nations.

Ryan says yes. And with that simple word he sets in motion an extraordinary journey that will encompass witch doctors and rugby-obsessed prime ministers, sun-smeared dawns and devastating cyclones, intense friendships and bitter rows, phone taps and wild nationwide parties. It will end in Rio with a performance that not only wins Olympic gold but touches fresh heights for rugby union and sees Ben made a tribal chief, hundreds of Fijian babies given his name and his 12 players heroes forever back home.

PLEASE NOTE: When you purchase this title, the accompanying reference material will be available in your Library section along with the audio.

©2018 Ben Ryan (P)2018 Orion Publishing Group

What members say

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Stunning and inspiring read

An amazing story that is both inspiring and heartwarming.
Ben Ryan is a credit to the world of Rugby

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Brilliant Tale

Superbly narrated tale of sporting triumph, leadership, and a real cultural insight into Fiji.
Was genuinely gutted when the book ended it was so uplifting!!

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Vinaka vakalevu Ben

What a great story about a great man leading a great team to victory against all the odds.

It leaves you feeling proud of a tiny nation who took on the world and won it over with love and happiness.

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A great insight in how to win in adversity!

A great insight into the world of rugby sevens and how to bring winning to a talented team missing something. It is an easy read and is the story of the journey from start to finish of the Fiji Olympic story. This will appeal to all and particularly rugby fans who want to know what goes on that we don't normally see or hear about

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Inspirational

A fantastic story and well told by Ben.

Great inspiration to anyone thinking of taking a chance or making a leap into the unknown.

Not just for rugby fans.

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Amazing story !!

A beautiful story, had me smiling, tears in my eyes and so many memories.
Living in Pacific harbour & having Natalie as a friend was just the best, I still miss her and our drives into suva, Laughing at the bumper stickers on cars, her pole dancing in O’Rileys, the day we watched the boys win gold at uprising to wishing her farewell.
Hope you make this into a movie !! Xxx

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  • Kindle Customer
  • 11-06-18

Brilliant, Captivating, Inspiring and insightful!

Loved it! The fact that Ben narrates the audio version of the book carries a lot more weight as it draws directly from his emotions and personal experiences setting the exact tone and besides, was great to hear his voice. A great talanoa by the man himself! Simply awesome!