Dean Ryan appears to have beaten Graham Rowntree in the battle of former England international forwards looking to take over as boss at Dragons, the Welsh PRO14 strugglers who sacked Bernard Jackman last December.
The ex-English back row is familiar with Rodney Parade, having taken on the role of rugby consultant for the Dragons during the 2012/13 season.
But he is now poised to return to Wales in charge of the whole shooting match at a club whose latest underwhelming league campaign produced just five wins in 21 outings.
Ryan has been working as RFU’s head of international player development since 2016, following three years as director of rugby at Worcester.
The former No 8 for Saracens, Wasps, Newcastle and Bristol, who won six England caps, also previously coached at Bristol and Gloucester, and had a stint as assistant to the Scottish national team.
HEAD COACH UPDATE || Executive chairman David Buttress has moved to update supporters on the recruitment process for permanent Dragons Head Coach.
— Dragons ? (@dragonsrugby) May 2, 2019
Former Wales prop Ceri Jones had been in charge at Rodney Parade in an interim role since Jackman’s exit after 18 months in the role. He is expected to stay on the staff in an assistant coach capacity after turning down an offer to link up with Doncaster.
Jones was interviewed by Dragons chairman David Buttress to replace Jackman on a permanent basis, but he is now reportedly set to work under the incoming Ryan who will be expected to quickly shake-up the club following years of under-achievement at the WRU-owned Gwent outfit.
Dragons set to appoint former England international as new head coachhttps://t.co/xuHr6qtxHn
— WalesOnline Rugby (@WalesRugby) May 2, 2019
In a statement issued by the club, Buttress said: “We have interviewed high calibre candidates for the role in what has been a rigorous process.
“This isn’t a decision we wanted to rush and we haven’t done so, but what has impressed me is the quality of candidates we have spoken to and the potential they see at the Dragons for success.
“I understand supporters are keen to know who will fill the role, but while we want to keep supporters informed, we are making sure we get the appointment right and expect to make an announcement shortly.”
WATCH: The RugbyPass fly on the wall documentary about Dragons
Sign up to our mailing list here and we’ll keep you up to the minute with weekly updates from the world of rugby.