AG Signs USA Eagle Prop Paddy Ryan
AUSTIN, TX (December 1, 2020) Austin Gilgronis is delighted to announce the signing of USA Eagle #514, Paddy Ryan. Ryan is regarded as one of the best scrummagers in the United States and a hard-nosed, no-nonsense enforcer in the league.
Paddy Ryan is thrilled today to make his return to Austin after two seasons with Rugby United New York. Ryan was a founding player on the original Austin Elite squad in 2018 and left for the expansion club, RUNY, which he helped to an MLR semifinal in 2019 (the club’s first year.) Ryan brings a unique perspective to the AGs; a very different looking Austin club than the one he left three years ago. “I definitely think we’ll make the playoffs and we’ll be making a push for the shield come May,” says Ryan. “There’s a lot of new faces and a shortened pre-season so that’s a challenge, but the coaches and owner want us to gel quickly and they’ve got some good ideas and we’ve got a very very good facility which will help a lot.”
The 29-year-old Irish-American prop is a scrum savant, ferocious in the tackle, and a savage at the breakdown. Ryan brings a wealth of professional rugby experience to the AGs and looks forward to bringing some additional toughness to the Austin front row.
“However we win, that will show who we are,” says Ryan. “Whether we’re ruthless and mean or flashy and fast; it will show through when we win – I know what style I like, but this game is all about adapting, ya know?”
Paddy Ryan has four Eagle appearances and remains in the USA Eagles player pool. He hopes to make another case for the red, white and blue jersey in 2021. The AG’s new head coach Sam Harris has today secured one of the deepest and most talented prop rotations in the league.
“We want a dominant, intimidating, Texas-sized front row,” says Harris. “That’s what we’ve built here this off-season, Paddy is widely regarded as the best domestic scrummaging tighthead in America and he adds just the kind of mean muscle we need.”
Harris explained that tighthead is the position a squad is to be built around and having Mason Pedersen and Paddy Ryan at #3 should give the team a lot of confidence. “Paddy also gives our pack that bit of bully you need, he has built a reputation as an enforcer.” says Harris. “I want him to grow that within the group; we won’t be taking a backward step to anybody.”
AG Tighthead Props: Paddy Ryan & Mason Pedersen
AG Loosehead Props: Jamie Mackintosh & LaRome White
“It’s always a challenge to compete for a spot and it’s also great to know that there are capable props behind you so you don’t have to play 80 minutes week in and week out, you can play 50 or play 30 and make an impact that way,” says Paddy Ryan. “It’s enjoyable to get competitive with the boys, it makes the daily grind more fun.”
Ryan arrived in Austin this summer and has worked alongside a handful of the AG newcomers in socially-distant fitness sessions. He also joined the Austin Huns coaching staff for a few training sessions this summer to lend some set-piece advice to the local blueblood club’s forward pack.
“It’s good to be back in Austin, Austin’s always been good to me and there’s a really strong rugby culture,” says Ryan. “I’ve already linked up with a few of the old mates and yea Austin is always a great party.”
The prop was invited to the World 10s competition in October to play in Bermuda for the Ohio Aviators alongside AG’s Will Magie and Bryce Campbell. In Bermuda, Ryan suffered an unfortunate lower-leg injury that he’ll work to rehab ahead of the 2021 season.
Paddy Ryan’s Road To Austin
The tighthead prop signed his first professional contract in 2014 with Viadana in the Italian Eccellenza. Ryan’s performance in Italy earned him a contract with the London Welsh in the RFU Championship. In 2015, Ryan signed a two-year contract with the Newcastle Falcons in the Premiership. Ryan made seven appearances and one start before moving on from Newcastle following the 2016-17 campaign. After a trial with Bath, Ryan signed with Austin Elite in year one of Major League Rugby.
A week three knee injury put an early end to the prop’s season. He then signed with upstart Rugby United New York and scored three tries in 14 appearances with the club and helped the expansion club to the MLR semi-final in 2019. Ryan started four matches for RUNY in 2020 and averaged 47 minutes per match. He made 21 tackles at a 100% made tackle percentage. In attack, he carried the ball 12 times for 36 meters and scored one try against the Houston Sabercats in Week 4.
Paddy Ryan On Winning:
“It would be awesome to win it all, it would be huge, especially for a team that’s had such a bad record two seasons ago – to come together and win it all would be huge, it really would,” says Paddy Ryan.
Welcome to the AGs, Paddy Ryan!
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