New Director of Dragons Rugby Dean Ryan is relishing the prospect of returning to the training field to head up the coaching team at Rodney Parade.
Ryan was appointed this week into a brand-new role at the region that will see him take full responsible for all rugby matters, both on and off the pitch.
And while he will contribute to the wider strategic direction of the Dragons long-term as a Board member, the 52-year-old is looking forward to working with the players and getting back on the field.
“It was about finding something that I am excited about and this gives me back the ability to go and compete with people again in a sporting environment,” said Ryan.
“This is something I’ve done all my life and I’ve missed it. I missed getting off a team bus and missed standing with people getting ready to go.
“I’ve been wearing chinos and a shirt for three years. So yes, absolutely I will be out coaching," he smiled.
“If someone said six months ago I would come back into club rugby, I would probably have been pretty skeptical about it,” he added.
“I had been a little bit frustrated at the way certain businesses had approached things.
“But I started talking to David (Buttress) and between the two of us we just asked why do we do things like this and why can’t we look at it slightly differently, and that is when I started to get excited again.
“I missed the club game, missed competing, but I didn't miss being frustrated about something that I don’t believe can ever get to the end of the story.
Ryan has also vowed to talk to all the backroom team at Dragons before making any changes that will benefit the region in the long-term.
“I’m looking forward to talking to the backroom team and listening to them about the challenges and how to support them,” he said.
“I want to understand how we can make some quick fixes to make that environment better and stablise it.
“The uncertainty this place has been in is not a healthy environment for anybody to be working in. So we need to stabilise and understand what is the best way to move the Dragons forward.
“Ten years ago I had a quite strong opinion of how to play the game,” he added. “But I remember going to Worcester and realising within two or three weeks they couldn’t play that game. It was about adapting to get the best out of that group.
“I have obviously got some firm beliefs in terms of where I think the game should be played, but I have to marry that up with the group that are here and make them want to believe in that way.
“This isn’t going to be the Dean Ryan way of playing the game and this opinion imposed. This is a combination, otherwise it is not going to be effective.
“We already know we are fighting against a climb that is greater than other people’s.
“We’ve got to make the most of what we are, which means we need real clarity about what excites us about getting on a rugby field.
“If we can do that I think you will see improvements in performance.”
It was about finding something that I am excited about and this gives me back the ability to go and compete with people again in a sporting environment...