Dave Ryan, the symbolism of club love

At 36 and 156 games for USA, the right-wing pillar played the last game on Friday night. With evident emotion, the silent Irishman reveals his love for the club.

Is it really the pillars, or British phlegm, Irish in this case? However, Dave Ryan, in public, is not the most expressive of rugby players. “Normally, I’m an introverted person.” But when his last game of him approached, he broke the shell. The emotion was too strong.

Seeing the warrior very moved when he left the pitch, in the 53rd minute of the match against Nevers, amid the thunderous applause of the grateful Armandie stadium, is not trivial. “This end of the game, I will remember it all my life. I have no words to describe the emotion that inhabits me. Only, thanks to everyone.”

Having landed seven years ago in the prefecture of Lot-et-Garonne, he fell in love with his wife, a city, a club and its fans. “I just thought I’d spend two years there. But after a few months I didn’t want to leave.” With Tom Murday and Johan Sadie, who arrived the same year and became close friends, he discovered Agen, a small town with a passion for rugby. “This connection between the city and the club reminds me of Munster, but on a smaller scale. I love the closeness to the public, talking about rugby in the supermarket with old or young people.”

The fans have aged in his heart

With supporters of the USA, Dave Ryan has formed a real and strong bond. “When you give everything on the pitch, they are grateful to you. I remember my first match with Agen, it was against Toulouse. We had lost but we had given everything. On the street everyone was proud of us.” It is true that during his six seasons at the club, the right-wing pillar rarely let them down. Duty player par excellence, who joined the team, he was one of the major architects of the four years in the Top 14.

Collective, “and above all focused on the match”, Ryan did not expand his moods before the match and this maintenance to be sought. If not his desire to “feel, once again, the Armandie stadium pushing behind the team”.

Friday night, in the locker room, for his last pre-match, “I cried, he breathes. I told the boys,” When you wear this shirt, it must mean something to you. “Another one wore it before and another one. I’ll wear later. We’re just passing through a club. It’s up to you to leave it in the best possible place. ” A speech that he hopes to repeat next year, “to the young and the players who arrive”.

The story of a man

Because today Dave Ryan is nowhere to be seen other than Agen. “I arrived with my wife seven years ago. Since then my three children have been born here. We feel perfectly happy.” A city, a territory and a club marked with indelible ink in the heart of Irish. Especially since the birth of his daughter. “There were complications. And the club helped me a lot then. It’s something I’ve never forgotten,” he says before bursting into tears.

The shell breaks. Many mixed feelings erupted in the light of day with a weeping love for HIS in the background. Asked by other clubs, he has always favored the very special relationship he has built here. Dave Ryan shows that even today rugby, even when it has become ultra-professional, mainly magnifies the stories of men.

The future coach of the USA strikers?

“I can’t say anything yet.” For several seasons, Dave Ryan has expressed his desire to train, and if possible to HIS. Today it is very likely that he will join Bernard Goutta’s staff next season. With what state? Attacker or scrum coach. The club’s announcements should soon clarify this situation.

Big smile on his face, the one who admires Bernard Goutta’s work and methodology “hopes to be on the ground next season with crampons. But shorter this time (laughs)”. He also has no doubts about the club’s success in a more competitive rugby every year. “I think the Pro D2 top 6 is the basis for SU Agen. We don’t have great resources, but with the public, the city and the training, we can compete.” A coach’s speech, right?

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