Connacht’s head fitness advisor Des Ryan has been promoted to the position of IRFU Fitness Development Manager.
Des Ryan, who has been Connacht’s head fitness advisor for eight seasons, will be responsible for developing and managing the fitness programme at age grade rugby in schools and clubs throughout the country.
The 33-year old is a graduate of St. Mary’s University College at Strawberry Hill in Twickenham. A native of Aughrim in County Galway, he attended Garbally College in Ballinasloe.
His new position will include being responsible for the the in-house education for fitness staff of the IRFU, as well as managing the Certified Conditioning Programme run by the IRFU.
He joined Connacht in 1998 as a development officer and fitness advisor and two years later was appointed Connacht senior head fitness advisor.
“I have enjoyed my time with Connacht and it is great to see the progress that has been made.
“But this a new challenge and one that I am very much looking forward to,” said Ryan, who has played a key role in the development of players such as Eoin Reddan, Johnny O’Connor, Gavin Duffy, Jerry Flannery, Damien Browne, John Muldoon, Mark McHugh, Bernard Jackman and Paul Warwick.
Ryan has worked with a number of Irish sides, including the victorious Triple Crown-winning students side of 2002 and the Ireland ‘A’ squad for their Six Nations and Churchill Cup campaigns.
Connacht CEO Gerry Kelly paid tribute to Ryan, who was also involved with the Ireland senior squad during warm weather training camps a few years ago.
“He has made a big contribution to Connacht rugby and I would like to thank him for that and wish him every success in his new post,” said Kelly.
Ryan has also been involved with teams in other sports and was in charge of fitness when Roscommon won the 2001 Connacht senior football championship.
He was part of Peter Ford’s Galway management team for three years, during which the Tribesmen won the 2005 Connacht senior championship and All-Ireland Under-21 title.