Worcester Warriors have today officially unveiled Dean Ryan as the clubs new Director of Rugby for the 2013/14 season. After a disappointing season in which the Warriors accumulated just 5 victories in the Aviva Premiership, the club opted to part company with incumbent Richard Hill to make way for the return of Ryan to the club game. Ryan returns off the back of a successful stint with the Scottish national team whom he helped guide to a respectable third place finish in this years six nations.
At his unveiling at Sixways Ryan said “I’m excited to be back in the game, I’m excited to be with Worcester Warriors and I’m looking forward to what is a huge challenge. Right from the outset to come back into rugby was about finding something that did excite me. In my own head I got to a place where I thought I was going to carry on with TV. I didn’t really see a challenge that lit the fire back inside and I think conversations with Cecil was something that started to do that. The opportunity here to restructure how the club goes forward was almost a challenge that, if I didn’t do it, would eat me away further down the line.”
After a poor season in which Worcester managed a lowly 11th placed finish he commented “I don’t think there’s a simple answer otherwise it would have been found before and it would be naïve to think there is. It is about breaking a cycle of operating in that bottom three or four clubs. I’m not naïve enough to throw things around and think I’m going to come in here with a magic wand. We’ve got to restructure the club so that as it goes forward over the years it starts to get the benefits of certain things that have been put in place.”
Whilst Ryan may be cagey about his expectations at Worcester, his impact as Scotland’s forwards coach was clear for all to see this year. The Scottish forwards added a dogged edge to their game, and it was this steeliness that helped them repel the likes of Ireland on their way to a third place finish. Whilst it is obviously disappointing that Hill has been let go as he seemed to be doing a genuinely good job at Worcester, Ryan will certainly help to plug some defensive gaps that have been apparent in the teams defence this season. Whether he can bring the kind of top 6 success that owner Cecil Duckworth is hoping for though is yet to be seen.
Do you think Dean Ryan can lead Worcester Warriors into the Heineken Cup places?