Planet Rugby

Worcester youngsters thriving - Ryan

13th November 2013 11:28



Impressed: Dean Ryan

Worcester boss Dean Ryan believes youngsters are thriving at Sixways and he is impressed by the next generation of first-team players at the club.

Ryan will give more game time to a number of academy players in Friday's home LV= Cup clash with Leicester Tigers. And he insists Sixways is the perfect destination for young players to develop.

"There are opportunities here and that's something we want to promote," said Ryan.

"For a long time it's been difficult to be a youngster here but that has changed.

"The LV= Cup is a fantastic tournament as a stepping stone. It takes some of the spotlight off and it gives an opportunity for some of the young lads to express themselves, which is great for the club.

"The Premiership has been tough for us in the opening games so we're looking for different options and we won't be afraid to use them."

Academy backs Ben Howard and Max Stelling will be hoping to be involved for a second consecutive week when the LV= Cup returns to Sixways for the first time since last season's final.

And Ryan has paid tribute to both of them after impressing in last Friday's victory over Cardiff Blues.

"Ben has played in the Amlin and the LV=. With Chris Pennell dominating in the Premiership, it has been nice to develop the talented youngster that is Ben Howard.

"Max is growing in confidence. He did well against Cardiff and showed good shape and understanding. He has developed as a player and that is also true of a lot of the other young lads."

With youngsters such as Andrew Boyce, Jack Cosgrove and George de Cothi also on the fringes, Ryan admits it is important for academy players to get match action.

"We've had a pretty hefty A League programme and we've been utilising young players in the cup competitions," he added.

"After Christmas we will look at the situation to see how we can best manage the pathway of the young players.

"We'll make an assessment of whether that will be in the Premiership or first-team rugby somewhere else for a few months. At that age we need them developing so it is essential they are playing matches."

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