Jan 13, 2016
Fiji 7s Coach Ryan predicting Rawaca impact
Fiji 7s coach Ben Ryan believes Save Rawaca has the potential to take the Aviva Premiership by storm, after it was announced that the powerful Fijian 7s star will be joining the Allianz Park side next season.
The highly successful 7s coach believes Rawaca has both the talent and the attitude to thrive at Saracens, with the flying Fijian wing or centre starring for Ryan’s 7s side as they head into the 2016 Rio Olympics.
“Save is a terrifically talented young Fijian,” said Ryan. “He is incredibly powerful both in attack and defence, he’s very quick for 105kgs, has a very powerful fend, good footwork and is real team player. If you think of his ball carrying ability he’s similar to a Manu Tuilagi, he plays in that kind of mould where he combines raw power with great footwork. He’s a very good player and I think he’ll make a great impact in the Aviva Premiership.
“When he gets more settled in with things at Saracens, I think he could definitely move into the midfield. Initially I’m sure with a new club, he will also play on the wing but that’s obviously up to Saracens but I know that the Fiji fifteen’s side are looking at him as both a centre and a winger. He’s got that flexibility in his game.”
Ryan revealed that Rawaca had sought out Saracens Fijian born Italy international Samuela Vunisa before making the move, and after speaking to him and Mark McCall’s coaching team Rawaca believes a move to Allianz Park would be the perfect setting to continue his development.
Ryan said: “Save had a huge amount of options from teams across Europe, and chatting with him about those options he was very clear that he wanted to go to Saracens. Having watched them play and having talked to Samu Vunisa that really made his mind up for him. With Saracens winning silverware and at the top of the Premiership it’s a great time for him to make the move. All of that, plus the coaching staff at Saracens, mean it’s a very good move for him and his partner. It can be quite daunting for a young Fijian to come over to London, but I’m sure he’s going to the right environment where he will flourish.”
Ryan continued: “For Fijian rugby, this is joined up thinking for Save. John McKee’s (Fiji Head Coach) been in the loop and Save is essential to the Flying Fijian’s plans going into the 2019 World Cup. It’s a Fijian decision as well as a player decision and his 7s career will be over after the Rio Olympics, then he’ll move onto Saracens and fifteen-a-side international rugby.
“The Olympics are his big focus. He had a lot of options to go to Europe last year but he wanted to stay put, get in the Fijian Olympic team, and hopefully win a gold medal. Once Rio’s over his new career starts with Saracens.
He added: “It’s a very exciting time for Save, and I’m delighted for him as he’s a terrific kid, a very hard worker and Saracens I’m sure will get even more ability out of him.”