Dean Ryan: Dragons confirm ex-Worcester coach as director of rugby

Dean Ryan chats with Welsh Rugby Union's head of performance Geraint John
Dean Ryan (right) chatting with Geraint John, Wales' head of performance, during an under-20 international between Wales and England in 2017

Dragons have appointed Dean Ryan as their director of rugby in a role that will see him assume a board position.

The region have created the role for Ryan, who joins from the Rugby Football Union where he has been working as head of international player development.

Ryan had been expected to be announced as head coach and his new role means interim head coach Ceri Jones reverts to his previous job as forwards coach.

"I will take a hands-on role with the playing department," Ryan explained.

Ryan will join the Welsh region in the post on 1 July, the RFU have confirmed.

There are no current plans to appoint a head coach under Ryan, but he has not ruled out the possibility.

Jones had coached the Welsh Pro14 region in an interim role since the departure of the former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman in December 2018.

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."

Before joining the RFU Ryan spent three years at the helm of Worcester, leading them to promotion and winning the British and Irish Cup.

"I will 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," Ryan added.

While Ryan was director of rugby with Gloucester, the Cherry and Whites lifted the European Challenge Cup in 2006 before reaching the Premiership Final in 2007 and finishing top of the table in 2008.

"I'm delighted to announce Dean Ryan as our new director of Dragons rugby and to welcome him on to the board," Dragons chairman David Buttress said.

"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 have 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."