A FORMER Warriors academy coach has found himself in charge of a Pro-14 club – albeit temporarily – within five months of leaving Sixways.

Former Scotland international Gordon Ross, who made the switch to Welsh club Dragons in June, was in the hotseat for his seventh game since switching against Munster.

The swift elevation happened after a member of the management team, led by ex-Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan, tested positive for Covid-19 last week.

It meant the senior management who had been in close contact with one another, including Ryan, had to self isolate with Ross becoming stand-in boss.

Ross said: “I spoke to an ex-colleague on Friday and we had a giggle because this time last year I was preparing an under-18s team for a friendly against Bristol.

“It’s a bit different but the structures that Dean has put in place to allow people to develop are great.

“You learn from him and the things that he does really well, but at the same time you want to put your own stamp on it.

“Dean is very good at giving coaching opportunities for us to lead training during the week. That’s where he is an excellent director of rugby, because he wants coaches to improve and get better.”

Much like similar situations in professional football in recent months, Ryan remained a part of matchday from his home in Cheltenham.

“I think Dean had to recharge the battery on his phone about 10 times,” revealed Ross.

“Dean has an outstanding rugby brain and we would be daft not to take his advice on.

“He got a few key messages over in the first half and the same in the second. I am sure it will be no different this week with Zoom meetings every morning and evening; we are keeping in touch.”

Ryan and ex-Warriors coach Mefin Davies are among four Dragons staff members who will remain in isolation this week with Ross still leading a six-man team running the show.

“It has been a fantastic opportunity for me over the past few days and hopefully I can improve again ahead of Connacht, and we have some really good people in place and that helps make the job a little bit easier,” said Ross.

“It was a pretty mad week. We found out on Wednesday morning that staff would be away, then on Wednesday afternoon we had a second team game as well (against Cardiff Blues).

“It was a busy week and pretty much hands-on all week. It was nice to be able to switch off for a few hours on Saturday to watch the Wales-Scotland game.

“It’s been really, really tough at times but the effort from the coaching staff and the squad in Ystrad Mynach was outstanding.

“Everybody has been chipping in and guys have been doing other people’s jobs to the best of their ability.

“The boys responded really well and the challenge is to do it again in the coming week and be better, both as coaches and players.

“We enjoyed last week, it was good fun and a learning experience for us, so hopefully as coaches we will develop from that.”