And this was why Ryan who coached Fiji to win the World Rugby Sevens Series for the second time last year as well as to win the first sevens rugby Olympic gold medal was not among the list of names in contention for the best coach of the year award.
O'Connor provided the clarification in response to queries on why Ryan was not nominated for the category despite his international achievements which attracted global recognition for Fiji.
Ryan was recently named Pacific Person of the Year by Islands Business Magazine. He also won the Special Award for Lifetime Achievement at the Rugby Union Writers Club on Monday evening. The special award given by the club has had previous recipients such as former Wallabies coach Bob Dwyer, former South African captain Francois Piennar, once most capped rugby player in the world France's Philippe Sella, Jason Leonard, Brian O'Driscoll and Jonny Wilkinson.
Ryan was nominated for "Coach of the Year" at the World Rugby Awards last year together with Osea Kolinisau for sevens "Player of the Year" and the national sevens team as the "Team of the Year".
However, they did not win any of the awards much to the disappointment of the FRU, which felt one of the nominees should have at least won an award.
But at this Saturday's FRU Awards, which is being held after a lapse of some years, O'Connor said all nominees should be nominated by unions.
He added though "the FRU nominated Ryan for the coach of the year category for the Fiji Sports Awards".
Former Naitasiri coach Reverend Joji Rinakama said Ryan's contribution to Fiji rugby should be acknowledged and recognised.
The award is set to be held at the Novotel Hotel in Lami. Source: Fiji Times, 11 January 2017