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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

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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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Simply Magical

An incredible story that’s hard to put down.
Best rugby book in years and proof that good things happen to good people.

Whole heartedly recommend this to anyone and everyone.

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Outstanding

Probably the most interesting sporting book I have had the pleasure of reading thus far!

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Vei lomani

Every fiji rugby fan need to read/listen to this book.
Loved evey bit of it !

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Great sentiment and ideology and even better rugby

There’s not too much on Ben’s life which I must admit I prefer in books about sports people.

However the messages on Fiji island life, grassroots rugby to gold medal level, leadership and world rugby business is great.

This is perfect for all rugby fans and as well as very interesting and entertaining some parts had me in stitches.

Remember you heard it here on the coconut wireless 🌴

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Brilliant

absolutely superb. you get a real feeling for what fiji is like and it's people. I want to go to fiji now.

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totoka

I can't recommend this book enough. If you love rugby it's a must read/listen. Even better having Ben read this himself.
Had me in tears, feeling sad, in fits of laughter and questioning my own rugby philosophy

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Exceptional Brilliant

It covers the talented and gifted of Raw Rugby of Fiji. Vinaka Vakalevu Peni Raiyani. VEILOMANI

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Sevens heaven

Extraordinary story, loved every chapter!!

I don’t know what the boys and coach were going through till I heard this story.

Thank you, to the all players, coach, mangers and everyone mentioned in this story for the dedication and hard work.💪🏽🙂

God bless you all!Veilomani✝️=❤️

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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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  • Anonymous User
  • 12-07-18

A read that will have you in tears from beginning to the end!

I LOVE THIS BOOK! I seriously was in tears from the start to the end and to make it more emotional was the soothing voice of the man himself Ben Ryan! I suggest that all Fijians and non-Fijian rugby fans to read/listen to this book! This book was beautifully written that I was able to picture everything in my mind as if I was there experiencing everything with Ratu Peni! TOSO VITI TOSO!

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  • Carl Ngamoki-Cameron
  • 01-07-18

Remarkable and Insightful Story

Great resource for coaches. Liked how Ben understood, committed, communicated and united his team and navigated his environment.

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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!