23rd Mar, 2019

Ryan: Patience is a virtue to bolster Warriors squad

Worcester Editorial 10th Sep, 2015 Updated: 19th Oct, 2016

DIRECTOR of rugby Dean Ryan has insisted Worcester Warriors will not make any ‘panic’ signings ahead of the new season.

Since gaining promotion to the Aviva Premiership in May, Warriors have snapped up Marco Mama on loan and secured the signature of former British & Irish Lions star Donncha O’Callaghan.

A number of other players have been linked with a move to Sixways, including South African international Wynand Olivier who featured for the Barbarians on Saturday.

But Ryan refused to be drawn into transfer speculation and said he would continue to take his time when decided to bring in new faces to the club.

“I look at hundreds of people, so just because it jumps out of a website forum, it does not mean it is going to happen,” he said.

“We are working very hard to make sure we have got a decent enough framework which allows us to compete in the Premiership and develop youngsters here.

“We have not panicked over the summer, we have not rushed to try and find people and I think Donncha is a classic case that if we wait we can get the right people.

“I think it is significantly better than bringing in ten people that are wrong, so we will continue to do that irrespective of time lines to make sure that those objectives remain the same.”

O’Callaghan ended a 17-year career at Munster, which included two Heineken Cup titles, to sign for the newly-promoted side.

The 36-year-old lock has also made 94 appearances for Ireland, featured in three successive World Cups and played four times for the British & Irish Lions.

And Ryan believes O’Callaghan will have a vital role to play at the club along with Phil Dowson, who had agreed to join from Northampton Saints last spring.

“Donncha wants to compete and he wants to play every week and he is here to do that primarily,” Ryan said.

“At the same time, he is here to develop the likes of Darren Barry, Christian Scotland-Williamson and Darren O’Shea and they will learn from him being around.

“You can see the difference with Dowson being here because having experience and ability is something we don’t have huge amount of.

“It’s not all about getting youngsters out there. It is about getting a framework of experience, so Donncha is here specifically to provide that and I think he will be a fantastic addition for the club.”

O’Callaghan, who also captained the Lions during the tour of South Africa in 2009, said he was hungry for a new challenge.

“The developments and structures in place at Warriors are very exciting but also the quality of management and the players at the club are something I cannot wait to be a part of,” O’Callaghan added.

“Now I’m looking to win the respect of the management, the players and most importantly, the supporters, and I will be giving my absolute all.”

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