By JOSEPHINE NAVULA
The Fiji Rugby Union has appointed former NZRU National Academy Manager, Mike Ryan as the High Performance General Manager for a three year term ending 2016.
Ryan brings with him a vast experience in Sports and Business Management and will take up the position that was left vacant by Talemo Waqa in 2011.
“I am pleased to announce the appointment of Mike Ryan as the HPU General Manager” FRU Chief Executive Officer, Manasa Baravilala said.
Baravilala said they are pleased that Ryan is willing to head the High Performance Unit after it has been without a manger for 2 years.
“The role of the HPU is to improve the standard of play for our National Teams in Fiji and abroad, and with Ryan’s qualifications and experience this is exactly what they need in order to improve their performance and standings,” he said.
Ryan has been in management roles within sports in the New Zealand rugby environment for eight years firstly with the Wellington Rugby Union and then with the New Zealand Rugby Union (NZRU).
The senior management roles were involved in elite player and coach development/education. These roles and his continued involvement in rugby at both the college and club level has kept him in touch with the rugby environment and has also helped him gain an in-depth knowledge of the game.
Ryan said firstly he would have to meet all those involved in the HPU and find out the processes that are currently in place.
“Firstly I’ve got to get a good look at what is being done at the moment and meet the people that are out there, which are the Strength and Conditioning Trainers, Coaches, the medical personnel and just find out what processes and systems are being implemented,” he said.
He added that once that was done he would have a fair idea of how they could enhance and improve on these processes with the possibility of even changing some.
“For me right now it is pretty much a look, learn and listening process.”
“I have set up meetings with High Performance staff that should go on for the next three to four days this will include me traveling out of Suva to visit the Training Centres,” Ryan added.
On a lighter note this will be the first Wellington 7s tournament that the Kiwi will spend away from home.
“I have been going to the Wellington 7s from the first year it started, so it will be my first year away from the tournament and my first year of supporting Fiji. Fiji has a great opportunity and they have great players and I 100% support Fiji ahead of New Zealand,” Ryan said.