Land and name for Fiji rugby coach after 1st gold medal

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Ben Ryan the Fiji coach.

Ben Ryan the Fiji coach. (Photo: Matt Impey /

SUVA, Fiji (AP) — Fiji continues to heap honors on Ben Ryan, the England-born coach who guided its sevens rugby team to the country's first-ever gold medal at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.

After being made a Companion of the Order of Fiji, the highest civil honor the Pacific nation can bestow on a non-citizen, Ryan has now been awarded three acres (1.2 hectares) of land.

Ryan was given the land at Vunibau in Serua province, the southernmost province on Fiji's largest island of Viti Levu. He also received an honorary name of "Ratu Peni Raiyani Latianari" in a traditional ceremony on Monday.

Ryan, who became Fiji coach in 2013 and based the national team in Serua, said "Serua has become my family."

Fiji defeated Britain in the final.

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