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Ryan has long-term plan to improve his Warriors
DEAN Ryan says he has a long-term project on his hands with Worcester Warriors – but he is adamant the club will improve during his tenure.
For too long now talk of Heineken Cup qualification has been banded around by various Sixways head honchos, but Ryan’s stark assessment of where Worcester are is a refreshing change.
The new director of rugby takes charge of Warriors in a competitive match for the first time on Sunday when the club make the daunting trip to Leicester Tigers.
“It’s been a long pre-season and we probably needed it to be honest,” said Ryan. “We get going on Sunday and we know the challenge of Welford Road, but it doesn’t get any better than starting there.
“Everyone is genuinely excited about what we’ve done over the last few months and what the new group looks like.
“I can’t pretend this club is anything else other than what it has been for the last seven or eight years. What I can say, though, is that over the next 12, 24 and 36 months we will improve.
“We haven’t got 35 great players here – we have a lot of youngsters around a core group – so I don’t think there will be any massive surprises in the starting XV.
“We have to try to up-skill the group so I don’t think people will be totally surprised by our selection.”
Ryan added: “We have a few bumps and bruises, but that will be the test of our resources over the year. If there are injuries, we will be reliant on these youngsters, which is why we have our academy players training with us full-time.
“In the past, we haven’t utilised that group – we haven’t seen it as a place for a 19-year-old to play and that is something we have to change going forward.
“Paul Warwick has a crack in the top of his thumb which has had to be wired, but Ignacio Mieres is here and ready to go.
“We are alright at 10 as long as we don’t lose another one. Danny Gray has a dead leg, but that’s not really an issue.”
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