Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Add Irish Prop Ryan to the Squad for New Season

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Falcons Add Irish Prop Ryan to the Squad for New Season

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith Twitter: @markismith50 www.facebook.com/chroniclerugby

IRISH prop Paddy Ryan is a Newcastle Falcons player after signing a two-year deal with the Kingston Park club.

The 24-year-old tight-head joins from French third division side Libourne and is already well into preseason training in the North East, helping fill the gap left by the departures of Oliver Tomaszczyk, Mark Irving, JP Orlandi and Kieran Brookes. Ryan, whose older brother Tim spent the 2010-11 season with the Falcons, said: "I have been here for three weeks now.

"It is really nice. I like the area, and I have been impressed with the club. The facilities are top-class and the lads have been really welcoming in the brief time I have had here."

A former Munster player who has represented Ireland at Under-20s level, Ryan said: "I started back home with Munster where I was on a training contract for two years.

"I moved to Viadana in Italy for a while, had a spell at London Welsh the year they won the Championship and, after a year in France, I am here in Newcastle."

Broadening his rugby horizons with each move, he explained: "Italy was good.

"I played for Viadana in the European Challenge Cup straightaway against Grenoble and that was a big step up.

"I played against London Wasps the week after, and even in the Italian domestic league it was great for my scrummaging. They place a big emphasis on it over there and I learnt a lot during that time."

From there Ryan went to Libourne, the French third division club which is home to Fijian 7s great William Ryder and ex-Newcastle flankers Ed Williamson and Adam Balding.

"I played with a loose-head called Xavier Pierre who has won a couple of full French test caps, and learnt a lot from him," he said.

"I had a good season scrummagewise, and that is where the interest from Newcastle came in. …

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