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Dragons confirm worst kept secret: Dean Ryan will take over

By Online Editors
Dean Ryan's Dragons have taken the scalp of Glasgow (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

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Dean Ryan has been appointed as director of rugby at the Dragons, the struggling PRO14 outfit. The 52-year-old – who becomes a board member of the organisation as part of this brand-new position – is fully responsible for all rugby matters on and off the pitch and will contribute to the wider strategic direction of the Dragons long-term.


Ryan will take up his new role this summer from the RFU, where he has been head of international player development since 2016. Ryan said: “It was always going to take a unique challenge to bring me back in to the club environment and following my discussions with David Buttress and the WRU, I’m hugely excited about what lies ahead.

“I will take a hands-on role with the playing department and use my influence as a board member to address various issues so that the Dragons are set up from top to bottom to ensure everything is geared around the on-field and off-field success of the region.”

As director of rugby at Gloucester for four years from 2005, the Cherry and Whites lifted the European Challenge Cup in 2006 before reaching the Premiership Final in 2007. They also finished top of the table in 2008 and made the European Cup quarter-finals.

Ryan was a respected analyst for Sky Sports and spent a brief spell at Gwent as a consultant to the Dragons in 2012, before three seasons as director of rugby at Worcester Warriors. He led the Sixways side to promotion back to the English top flight at the first time of asking, as well as winning the British & Irish Cup in 2015.

Executive chairman David Buttress said: “I’m delighted to announce Dean Ryan as our new director of Dragons rugby and to welcome him on to the board. After an extensive and competitive process, it became clear Dean has the experience and skill-set to offer something greater and more beneficial to the Dragons and this new role we’ve created will see him have a voice at Board level and an input across the organisation.


“Our immediate need is the on-field success of the first team and Dean will lead the coaching team in preparation for next season as he gets to know the players and staff in the playing department. We are excited to see the impact Dean can have on rugby in Gwent for the Dragons.”

The RFU’s Nigel Melville said: “I’d like to thank Dean for his commitment to developing the next generation of players and coaches during his time at the RFU. Dean’s innovative approach to coach development has enabled a number of young Premiership coaches to coach at international level and for some of our younger players to experience unique leadership challenges that will benefit them in the future. We wish Dean every success in his new role at Dragons.”

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PRO 14    

Dragons confirm worst kept secret: Dean Ryan will take over