DEAN Ryan has admitted the decision to install an artificial pitch at Sixways led to a "significant fallout with myself and Worcester" when he was boss at Warriors.

The former England number eight, 53, was in charge when the club chose to switch from traditional grass to a synthetic surface ahead of the 2016-17 campaign.

At the time ex-Gloucester chief Ryan described it as “a commercial decision” by Warriors.

He then left Sixways for the Rugby Football Union before the Premiership season even began in June 2016 having been appointed as director of rugby in 2013.

And Ryan, now boss at Newport-based Dragons, told the South Wales Argus: “I don’t believe that artificial surfaces are the way forward for rugby.

"I’m not a fan of playing on artificial surfaces.

"In 10 years’ time we might be looking back and saying, ‘why did we go down that (route)?’

“There was a significant fallout with myself and Worcester when they implemented a pitch which I just don’t believe in.

“I believe the game is as much about the challenges on when we play the game as anything else.

"Further efforts to sanitise it don’t impress me. I recognise the sport needs to move on with technology but I don’t believe it’s via artificial pitches.”

Last December, Ryan revealed he had “lost confidence in the ownership of the club” which led to his departure from Warriors.

The Dragons director of rugby spoke out again this week as his region considered upgrading the troubled Rodney Parade playing surface.

The WRU installed a new hybrid surface — a mixture of grass and synthetic fibres — after taking over Dragons in June 2017, claiming “flooding will be a thing of the past”.

Nearly three years since that £750,000 revamp Ryan and his fellow board members are looking for a longer-term solution.

The bad weather and having Newport County AFC and Newport Rugby Club also playing there has taken its toll on the surface.

It is understood the Dragons hierarchy will discuss possibly laying the same sort of hybrid pitch used by football clubs including Swansea City.