Ryan to step down as England Sevens coach
The RFU has announced that Ben Ryan is to step down as England Sevens head coach after more than six years in charge of the national side.
With just 68 days remaining until the start of the 2013/14 HSBC Sevens World Series, the 41 year-old will help ensure a smooth transition and the recruitment process for his successor will start shortly.
“I’m proud of what England Sevens has achieved in the last six years but I have decided that it is right for me and my career progress that I move on and let someone new take the side forward," said Ryan.
“We’ve been the leading Northern Hemisphere side throughout that period and we’ve recorded some great tournament victories – including eight individual wins over New Zealand – as well as reaching a World Cup final for the first time in 20 years," added Ryan, who also had 11 players in that time go on to play for England's 15-a-side national team.
“Ben’s made a major impact on and off the field in developing our Sevens programme and making sure the team achieves high standards in international competition," said England head coach, Stuart Lancaster. "He’s a first class coach who has helped his players fulfil their potential and many of them have benefited from his guidance on the way to senior international honours."
Ryan won five World Series Cup titles with England as head coach, notably twice in New Zealand, as well as the FIRA/AER European Grand Prix series in 2012. Under his guidance England finished fourth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and second at the recent Rugby World Cup Sevens in Moscow. He also led England's Under 18 to the Junior Commonwealth Games Sevens title in 2011.
As head coach he has also overseen England's transition to a full-time Sevens programme and there are now 19 contracted England players preparing for the start of the new season in October.
“I’ve loved working as England Sevens head coach and enjoyed every minute in a time of dramatic change for the sport and the squad. In 2007 I met one player for the first time at the airport heading for a tournament; six years later we have a full-time England squad operating to the highest professional standards. As a coach your goal is always to leave something in better shape to pass on to the next generation and I believe that’s been achieved,” Ryan added.
England Sevens are also recruiting an assistant coach after Russell Earnshaw also left the programme to take up a teaching career in Economics at Eastbourne College.
Ben Ryan fact file:
IRB Sevens World Series events: 56
Semi-finals or better: 28
Cup titles: 5 - Wellington (2008, 2013), Dubai (2010, 2011) and London (2009)
Highest Series finish: Third (2008, 2011, 2012)
Video archive: Ryan's first Sevens Cup title - Wellington 2009