Former Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan is set to join the Rugby Football Union in August as head of international player development.
Reporting to Nigel Melville, the RFU’s director of professional rugby, Ryan will be responsible for leading and managing the international performance pathway to provide a pipeline of players capable of securing sustainable success for England Rugby.
Ryan will work closely with academies and national-team coaches to align best practice and consistency from the U16 age group going through to the senior team. He will also oversee the development of elite coaches, including current national-team coaches, and the identification of potential future international coaches.
“I am delighted to be joining the RFU at an exciting time for rugby in England,” said Ryan.
“The month of June alone saw incredible success with the senior team winning the series in Australia, the U20s winning their third World Rugby U20 Championship title in four years and the Saxons series win in South Africa.
“This is an opportunity for England Rugby to take that next step and become a dominant force in world rugby. To do this we need to ensure we continue to develop a world-class pathway system for our players and elite coaches.
“Having excellent relationships with the professional clubs is key, and we need to be joined up in our approach so we develop players who are ready to take that step into the senior international environment and make a real impact for England.”
Melville added: “I’m thrilled that Dean is joining England Rugby with his considerable experience of hands-on coaching in the professional game and expertise in developing players in the Premiership and Championship.
“He also understands both the challenges and opportunities within our current national academy and professional domestic game and will work closely with clubs and the academies.
“This role is critically important for us to ensure we have a consistent and aligned player pathway with the best coaches that help to create long-term success for England.”
The 50-year-old left Worcester Warriors in June this year where he was director of rugby for the past three seasons. In his time with the club he led them to promotion into the Premiership and won the British and Irish Cup in the 2014/15 season.
Ryan was previously part of Scotland’s coaching set-up during the 2013 Six Nations Nations, where he helped the side to their highest finish in the championship for seven years.
The former England international spent four years as head coach of Gloucester from 2005 to 2009 with the club finishing top of the Premiership table for two consecutive seasons in 2007 and 2008.
He has coached with Melville previously at Gloucester and with England U20s.
In his playing days Ryan won four England caps and the former number eight had spells at Saracens, Wasps, Newcastle and Bristol.