Ryan to take charge of Northern Hemisphere Help for Heroes

By Sam Green, Sportsbeat

FORMER GLOUCESTER boss Dean Ryan admits he couldn’t be happier to be involved in the Heroes Rugby Challenge – but that doesn’t mean he’ll be dusting down his boots.

Ryan has been unveiled as the coach for the Northern Hemisphere side who will take on a Southern Hemisphere outfit on December 3 at Twickenham, with the proceeds from the game going to Help for Heroes.

With a number of retired internationals – such as World Cup winner Josh Lewsey and Scotland wing Kenny Logan – signed up to take to the field Ryan could easily have stepped into the action at Rugby HQ.

However the 45-year-old, who himself served in the Corps of Royal Engineers, insists he is more than happy calling the shots from the sidelines.

“I was asked to come along and help out with the coaching and it was a chance that I jumped at to be honest,” said Ryan.

“It’s a fantastic opportunity to support the charity and I think everybody in rugby is delighted that there is an avenue that they can do that either by being involved themselves or coming along and supporting.

“I had a fleeting appearance at Lawrence Dallaglio’s testimonial but that is as close as I have got to the field since I retired.

“Everybody keeps saying you must miss the game and miss playing and I think I do, but I don’t miss how much it hurts.”

Heroes Rugby Challenge, Saturday 3 December 2011 at Twickenham Stadium, kicks off at 1630. Ticket prices start at £30 for adults and are available through Ticketmaster or by calling 0844 847 2492

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