Dean Ryan: The Dragons director for rugby has dismissed plans to create a professional Welsh rugby team

Dean Ryan has coached Bristol, Gloucester, Worcester and Scotland before arriving at Dragons as director of rugby in 2019
Before joining the Dragons in 2019, Dean Ryan was a coach at Bristol, Gloucester and Worcester.

Dean Ryan, Dragons director for rugby insists that any proposal to reduce Welsh professional areas to three would be detrimental rugby in Wales.

Ryan also stated that Dragons are here for the long haul after the proposal to create a Welsh region was revealed in a report which was commissioned by Professional Rugby Board (PRB).

If the plan is implemented, it could result in one of Ospreys Scarlets, Scarlets, or Dragons being removed from top flight rugby.

Ryan responded, “Absolutely!” when Ryan was asked whether it was business like usual at Dragons.

The PRB oversees the professional game of Wales. It includes members from four regions and the Welsh Rugby Union (WRU), as well as Malcolm Wall, an independent chairman.

Ryan says that culling a particular region is not the solution for Wales.

The director of rugby stated, “If we look at World Cup-winning sides from tier one or higher, it's worth preserving the opportunities for player development.”

“Everybody talks about models but the problems Italy and Scotland face can't be solved with limited numbers.

“Statistically World Cup-winning side have a lot of top-level sides and many avenues for players to come through.

“In any discussion I've always been an avid fan of that. It might be better to have three people on a financial sheet.

“But I don’t think that would be beneficial to the long-term rugby in Wales, which already faces challenges to how to develop players to the competitive end.

Ryan is a member of the board and currently owns Dragons.

Ryan said he met David Buttress, Dragons chairman, on Thursday morning in order to clarify the situation and address players' concerns.

“I met David this morning, and we gave every reassurance that we're headed in the same direction,” he said.

“This isn't a surprise, it's a reported we've all seen sometime back; when there's no headline and someone gets it, it becomes all the headlines. It doesn't even do justice to all the PRB activities.

“Myself and David [Buttress]Have been transparent with players and staff about what's going on within the PRB, and the context that doesn’t get reported in media reports.

“Context is everything. Information, however, is everything.” These things could be ignored at all, but the players know the context and the options, as well as where David's energy takes the club.

Ryan insists that Ryan was only referring to the proposal to reduce Welsh profession regions to three.

He said, “The context is that PRB has many suggestions. But if you look at the headline, then there's only one.”

“There are many suggestions. None of them are unique. To give players context, you simply put one as the headline. The dominant direction of travel then becomes.

“I know what the media do and how they work. It is the PRB's fault and the governing bodies. [that it's taken so long]to reach a strategy for moving forward.

“But it's only one part of a report, not the whole conversation that is in PRB. This is why it's not a context-free shaped thinking.

The Dragons' director of rugby insists on a long-term strategy.

“Aren’t we all tired of not having a plan?” asked Ryan.

“It would be a good idea to give a clear direction and direction in which Wales and other regions are heading.

“This isn’t a waiting period of weeks for a strategy. It’s years.

“I sometimes find myself scratching my head at how long it has taken.

“Every country enters a different phase. I have lived through England and some of it was not particularly pleasant. It's also not the best model.

“At some stage, we must get to a point in which we are trying to move forward.

“The frustration with us not reaching a collective integrated strategy for moving forward is that we are unable to. It's almost as if we are all in the same place.

“Sometimes it can be helpful to compare other countries with different models.

“If this is Wales' chance to go through a period it has to reach a point where everyone works towards something. This is where the majority of frustration lies, no matter how long it has been.

It is unacceptable. We must at some point decide how we will proceed for the next 10 year.

“It is for the four regions, the governing body and to develop an integrated strategy. Not for individuals to create things on their own.

“They aren't able reach that conclusion, and this is clearly causing some problems.

“It is unacceptable to continue in the same way as we are. Let's hope that something is on the horizon.

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