13th December 2006
BEN RYAN has been appointed as England Sevens Head Coach for the rest of the 2006/07 IRB World Sevens Series.
The 35-year-old Newbury Blues Director of Rugby will join the Rugby Football Union from January 1 2007 on a part-time coaching consultancy basis for the remaining six tournaments.
Ryan, who will continue to coach the National Division One club as well as England Counties for their matches against Ireland Amateurs (February 23) and France Amateurs (March 10), replaces Mike Friday who has resigned to take up a business role in the City.
Ryan said: "I can't wait for this opportunity and it's a great challenge. I have known Mike for a long time and he has done amazing things for England. If you speak to any sevens player they will tell you he is one of the best coaches they have ever had. Those are big shoes to fill but he has left me with a well-oiled machine.
"Although the role is a big challenge, I don't intend doing anything in half measures, and my goal is to put England Sevens at the top of the tree in the global game and hopefully secure England's first IRB Sevens series win.
"Newbury have been very good to me and while I will be very busy with the Sevens and England Counties, they realise that this is a next step in my coaching career and are fully supportive."
Ryan has attained his Level Four coaching award and Kevin Bowring, RFU Head of Elite Coach Development said: "Ben is a young English coach who is coming through our development structure and has huge potential. He has brought Newbury into National Division One and is a creative and innovative coach who we feel will contribute hugely to this role". He was a member of the first cohort of the newly formed RFU Level 4 coaching course and specialised in coaching attacking back play. The RFU Level 4 coaching course is a 12 month programme which involves a multi-disciplinary approach to solving coaching problems and was delivered through face to face workshops, RFU mentor support and work place assessments of coaching competence. It is aimed at coaches already working in or with the potential to work in the high performance coaching environment.
Phil Greening will continue as assistant coach, with Terry Sands as Manager.
Born: 11.09.1971, Wimbledon
Ben Ryan was educated at Wimbledon College, Loughborough University (BSc in Sports Science) and Cambridge University (MPhil in Education), where he won two Blues as a scrum-half in the winning sides of 1995 and 1996 as well as captaining the Light Blues' Sevens team. A utility back who made his senior debut as a 17-year-old for Richmond, he played for England Under-18s, 19s and 21s, and in every backline position in the top two divisions. He played club rugby with Nottingham and West Hartlepool and as recently as 10 days ago turned out for Newbury in their 45-13 defeat at Leeds Tykes. He taught at St Edward's School, Oxford who, by the time he left after six years, had a player in every England representative squad from England Under-16 to Senior (James Forrester), wheras previously they had no internationals. They also had an 82 per cent success rate at Sevens including four national sevens semi finals and two quarter finals. He joined Newbury Blues in 2002 as backs coach and led them from National Division Two to One in 2004/05 (his first season as full time Director of Rugby). He was assistant coach to England Counties on their tour to Argentina and Uruguay in 2005 and head coach for the 35-7 victory over Tunisia last June.
Note to desks: England currently lie third in the IRB Sevens Series after the tournaments in George and Dubai. They now play in Wellington (Feb 2-3), San Diego (February 10-11), Hong Kong (March 30-April 1), Adelaide (April 7-8), Twickenham (May 26-27) and Murrayfield (June 2-3).