THEY may have had a love-hate relationship while working together at Gloucester, but Warriors fly-half Ryan Lamb insists he is happy to be playing under Dean Ryan’s guidance once again.
As an up-and-coming number 10 at Kingsholm, Lamb was director of rugby Ryan’s golden boy, but the relationship was seen to sour after a number of high-profile errors by the callow stand-off.
Lamb’s mercurial style helped lead the Cherry and Whites to two top-of-the-table finishes, but they were pipped to the title by Leicester both times, ultimately seeing the former England number eight dropping his youthful play-maker.
This in turn led to a parting of the ways and the beginning of a nomadic spell in Lamb’s career that included stops at London Irish, Northampton and then Leicester.
However, the 27-year-old insists he has matured over the years and is keen to lay down roots at Sixways, a suggestion evidenced by him signing a three-year deal.
“Everyone forgets that Dean and I had a very good time together at Gloucester – we came top of the league a few times and got into some semi-finals, as well as winning the European Challenge Cup,” Lamb explained. “We had some success but, at the end of it, we went our separate ways and it wasn’t as bad as everyone made it out to be.
“Dean has some of the best knowledge of the game of any coach I have worked under, as well as vast experience.
“With the vision he has, he is definitely the right man to take the club forward and it will be great to be a part of that. If it comes to fruition, as I‘m sure it will, then the future’s very bright.”
Lamb added: “When I sat down with Dean, it was clear he wanted people in for the long haul, which is why I signed for three years.
“He’s not looking to get people in as a quick fix, which is perhaps what the club has done in the past. That’s not just for playing now, but also for bringing on all the young lads here.
“Dean was very good at doing that at Gloucester and I’m sure he’ll be successful doing it here as we have a very good bunch of young lads coming through and they could do well with a bit of game-time under their belts.
“I’ve had a few clubs now, but once you’ve been in the Premiership for a while you know everyone from playing against them week in, week out.
“The facilities at Worcester are fantastic and it is based in the right area, so they can have a massive pull in the future. I don’t really know why they haven’t kicked on already, but I’m sure, knowing Dean from my time at Gloucester, he is the right man for the job.
“The people they have brought in are very exciting and if we can gel these players together, then we will be a force and it will be an exciting time.”
Warriors’ precarious league position wasn’t a problem for Lamb when the chance to come to Worcester arose.
He said: “Where I am in my career, I don’t think I’m on the England radar anymore, so in terms of a lifestyle choice and being nearer Cheltenham where my home is, as well as my family and just having had a baby daughter, it was a good choice.
“However, I don’t look too far into the situation Worcester are in at the moment, obviously we will fight tooth and nail to beat relegation but, if the worst did happen, it might not be a bad thing for the club.
“That said, we really want to stay in the Premiership, it is one of the best competitions in Europe and it would be fantastic to stay up.
“With the players we have coming in next year and the squad Dean is building, it will be an exciting place to be. Coming here wasn’t a difficult decision for me to make and the current situation wasn’t a worry.”