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Dragons' 38-word statement officially confirms Dean Ryan's exit

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Brendan Moran/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Dragons, the Newport-based URC franchise, have finally officially confirmed the departure of Dean Ryan nearly four months after the director of rugby’s sacking was first reported by RugbyPass. It was September 23, just days after the club had conceded seven tries against Edinburgh in its first outing of the 2022/23 season, when this website exclusively reported that the ex-England back-rower had been absent from training in the second week of the URC campaign and that he had been informed of his dismissal that Friday morning.


Bad-tempered assessments by Ryan of the Dragons players had become a regular feature during the club’s dire 2021/22 season and the DoR didn’t shy away from explaining his unhappiness following their 6-44 September 17 URC round one walloping in Scotland.

“We have got supposed talent in this squad, but I don’t see it at the moment,” said Ryan at the time. “I don’t see the work rate that was needed or the desire to be in the right position. We need to hold some hard conversations about how that can happen in the first game of the season.”

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Head coach Dai Flanagan took over the running of the Dragons side in Ryan’s absence and they won three of their ten URC games since then while they also drew away to the Lions in one of their two Challenge Cup matches.

In that time, Dragons maintained their silence over Ryan due to the dismissal becoming a legal matter and the situation was only finally resolved on Tuesday, 14 and a half weeks after the initial parting of the ways last September.


A 38-word statement read: “Dragons RFC confirm the departure of Dean Ryan. Ryan has been director of rugby at Rodney Parade since May 2019. Dragons RFC chairman David Buttress said: ‘We thank Dean for his contribution and wish him every future success’.”



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