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Fiji sevens coach Ryan steps down

Ben Ryan has opted to step down from his role as coach of the Fiji rugby sevens side after leading them to the gold medal at Rio 2016.

Ryan took the position in September 2013 and guided the team to back-to-back World Rugby Sevens Series titles in 2015 and again this year.

However, the coach's crowning moment came when he steered the side to the Fiji's first Olympic gold in Rio last month, a feat which earned him the nation's highest honour of Companion of the Order of Fiji.

Ryan's achievement was also rewarded with a gift of three acres of land and the native name 'Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianara' by the people in the province of Serua.

However, the coach has opted to return to his native England, the Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) announced.

An official statement from FRU chief executive John O'Connor read: "On behalf of the Fiji Rugby Union chairman and board of directors I would like to extend our appreciation for what Ryan has done for the national sevens team.

"The discussions with Ben indicates his desire to take a break from rugby by returning home to England and to explore options for his future undertaking. The FRU board respects this decision by Ryan and wishes him well in his future endeavours.

"The position of Fiji sevens head coach will soon be advertised with an appointment to be made well before the commencement of the 2016-2017 World Sevens Series. Ryan is most welcome to reapply for the position should he have a change of heart.

"We would like to wish Ben and his wife Natalie safe travels as they depart our shores to return to their home in England."