Ben Ryan steps down as England Sevens coach
August 4, 2013
Ben Ryan has been in the job for over six years © Getty Images
The Rugby Football Union has announced Ben Ryan is to step down as England Sevens coach.
Reports in the Rugby Paper claimed Ryan was going to be asked to re-apply for his post as England boss after an indifferent season. But the announcement on Sunday morning brings to an end Ryan's six year association with the England Sevens team.
During his tenure, the team has undergone a huge change with Ryan bringing in central contracts for the bulk of the senior Sevens squad. The team has also experienced huge success and while an IRB Sevens World Series has evaded them, he led them to third-place finishes in 2008, 2011 and 2012.
In total, Ryan has guided the Sevens side through 56 tournaments in the IRB Series and reached the semi-finals or better on 28 occasions. He also took them to the 2013 World Cup final.
"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," Ryan said. "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.
"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. Eleven of our players have gone on to play for England at senior level in that time.
"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."
RFU CEO Ian Ritchie paid tribute to Ryan, saying: "Ben deserves a tremendous vote of thanks for all his efforts while in charge of the England Sevens team. He has made an important contribution both to England and to the development of the sport globally during a period of great change following its inclusion in the 2016 Olympics.
"He will leave firm foundations in place and a full-time squad who will be ambitious to make an impact next season in the HSBC Sevens World Series and at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow."
England enjoy their triumph in Dubai in 2011 © Getty Images
England coach Stuart Lancaster has also worked closely with Ryan in the past and he too passed on his best wishes. Lancaster said: "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.
"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. I'm sure he will go on to achieve more great things and wish him all the best for his future career."
Ryan will aid the transition into the new season of sevens and the RFU has also confirmed that it is recruiting for an assistant coach to work alongside the new boss with Russell Earnshaw stepping down from his post within the Sevens coaching team.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Firdose Moonda talks to Rob Louw about the difficulties of being a South African touring New Zealand at the height of Apartheid
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games