Aviva Premiership
Dean Ryan fired up for fresh challenge
ESPN Staff
April 19, 2013
Dean Ryan is set to swap his role with Sky Sports for the director of rugby post at Worcester Warriors © Getty Images

Worcester Warriors' new director of rugby Dean Ryan has revealed that a hunger to compete once again was behind his decision to return the Aviva Premiership's front line.

The former Bristol and Gloucester boss will take charge at Sixways in the summer following the departure of Richard Hill earlier this week. Ryan has not coached in the top flight since leaving Gloucester in 2009 and has since carved out a formidable reputation as part of Sky Sports' rugby coverage but will give up his media commitments at the end of the season.

"I honestly thought I wouldn't go back," Ryan told Sky Sports. "It was no secret that I fell out of love with the game. I lost confidence in my final year at Gloucester and some of the people involved in the management back then tainted things."

But Ryan, a former England international, has always maintained strong links with the game with a recent spell as an assistant to Scotland caretaker coach Scott Johnson during this year's Six Nations laying the foundation for his Premiership return. "Time is a little bit of a healer and I think the opportunity to work with Scotland lit a few fires and raised a few questions in my head that I hadn't considered," said Ryan, who was also impressed by the Warriors' set-up.

"If I'm honest, meeting Cecil [Duckworth) and Dave Allen [the Warriors' chairman and major shareholder] was a completely different environment from what I have known before. It made me ask questions of myself as to whether this group and this sort of vision that they have for Worcester Warriors was something I wanted to be involved in."

Ryan will reluctantly hang up his microphone but is relishing the task ahead. "It's difficult because I really enjoy working here but there is something burning inside and I like competing, and that means putting yourself in the firing line with challenges - and Worcester is a huge one."

Looking ahead to next season and beyond, Ryan has already identified what needs to be done to ensure the Warriors' raise their game. "The expectations are long term and have to be," he explained. "There is a danger that you get so focused on the short term that is compromises where you are trying to get to.

"We've got to try and break the cycle that has been the bottom end of the division. That's not easy because the best players don't necessarily want to go there [Worcester]. You get a few of them wrong, you get the environment wrong and soon you have got to try and find a way out of that at the same time maintaining league position.

"You have to look at academies, invest in getting some young players through, a combination of lots of things. I've never pretended to be a coach who will come in with a magic formula that will rejuvenate Worcester. It will be hard work, and it's about changing some of the recruitment, accelerating some of the youngsters and getting across the next couple of years with a clear view of where we want to be in the future."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

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