HIGHFELD president Mark Franklin has paid tribute to departing coach Timmy Ryan for his six years’ hard work and success with the club.
The former Munster prop forward steered Field to unprecedented glory in the energia All-Ireland as well as developing a squad of players which also captured the Munster Junior Cup.
Ryan hands the reigns to Conor Quaid, who was assistant coach during their march to the top of Division 1B at the first time of asking.
“When Timmy was appointed coach six seasons ago it was hoped that his experience as a professional rugby player as well as his love for the club he grew up playing with would be of benefit to the club.
“His professional approach and his ability to get the best out of players has brought Highfield to where it is now.
“Under his guidance Highfield have developed a strong winning mentality and broken records in terms of tries and points scored.
“As president I want to acknowledge the huge contribution that Timmy has made to Highfield during his time as head coach,” Franklin said.
Ryan guided the club to either the promotion play-offs or promotion itself in every season in charge, culminating in a first crack at division 1B in the season just ended, prematurely.
“To be on the cusp of promotion to the highest level of club rugby this season and that opportunity denied, due to the Covid-19 crisis, is a cruel blow to the club but particularly to Timmy and the players.
“This doesn’t take away from the magnificent achievement of having a nine-point lead with four matches left to play.
“Timmy leaves the club in a very healthy position of which everybody at Highfield is very proud.
“I would like to thank Timmy for everything he has done and wish him the very best for the future,” Franklin concluded.
Ryan was 30, when setting out on a remarkable journey while Quaid will also be one of the younger coaches in the league, 39 in September.
“I have great time for Timmy when you consider what he has achieved for the club. It’s remarkable when you look at his record of four promotions and two play-offs.
“As player-coach Timmy created a winning culture with the players, who are now used to winning games and simply just don’t like losing.
“He developed that culture and Timmy has left the club in a great place. He deserves an awful lot of credit for what he has achieved.
“Timmy’s goal was to bring Highfield to the top division in the league for the first time in the club’s history and we were four games away from achieving that.
“Like us all, Timmy was bitterly disappointed with the way the season finished,” Quaid commented.
Meanwhile, World Rugby has approved 10 optional law trials which are designed to help unions reduce the risk of Covid-19 transmission in their respective countries.
The law trials include the removal of the choke tackle, no scrum re-sets and goal-line drop-outs, but are temporary, opt-in, and can be picked and chosen at will or even completely ignored by national unions.
It’s unlikely that any will be implemented in the professional game with New Zealand already ruling out the adoption of the trials ahead of their Super Rugby franchises’ return to action in a fortnight.
It’s expected that most unions will follow suit though an orange card for possible red-card, high-tackle offences, is bound to be given some thought by the professional wing.
It would apply only where a TMO/Citing/Hawkeye review is available and won’t impact on the amateur game.