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Ryan focused on long-term survival

Dean Ryan insists Worcester must develop a long-term strategy if they are to become a club capable of more than simply escaping relegation from the Aviva Premiership every year.

Ryan begins his tenure as the Warriors' director of rugby at champions Leicester insisting that a change of philosophy is needed at Sixways with the club once again a leading contender for the drop.

"We know how big the challenge will be for us across the season. We're not the strongest squad," he said.

"We have to try and shape the future of Worcester and not allow that future to be shaped by the short term.

"For the first time we have to ask where we want the club to be in five or six years and then work back from there.

"What we don't want is to let what happens over the next 12 months dictate the decisions we make.

"It's clear that short-term survival mode has not been able to break the cycle of being in the bottom two or three every year."

Ryan gives debuts to summer signings flanker Jonathan Thomas, fly-half Ignacio Mieres, scrum-half Jeremy Su'a, lock Mike Williams and prop Jeremy Becasseau at Welford Road.

Leicester half-backs David Mele and Ryan Lamb make their debuts with British and Irish Lions Ben Youngs and Manu Tuilagi on the bench despite having shoulder problems.


From Belfast Telegraph