Dean Ryan has been appointed as director of rugby at Pro14 strugglers the Dragons.
Ryan was expected to be named as head coach of the Welsh region, but the 52-year-old will take up a newly created role which will also give him a place on the board.
The arrival of the former Gloucester and Worcester Warriors boss will raise doubts over the future of Ceri Jones, who took over as head coach on an interim basis when Bernard Jackman was sacked last December.
Ryan will vacate his role as England’s head of international player development to try and turn around the fortunes of a Dragons side that has won only five of their 21 Pro14 matches this season.
“It was always going to take a unique challenge to bring me back in to the club environment, and following my discussions with David Buttress and the WRU [Welsh Rugby Union] I’m hugely excited about what lies ahead,” said former England forward Ryan.
“I will take a hands-on role with the playing department and use my influence as a board member to address various issues so that the Dragons are set up from top to bottom to ensure everything is geared around the on-field and off-field success of the region.”
— Dragons (@dragonsrugby) May 14, 2019
Dragons executive chairman Buttress said: “I’m delighted to announce Dean Ryan as our new director of rugby and to welcome him on to the board.
“After an extensive and competitive process, it became clear Dean has the experience and skill-set to offer something greater and more beneficial to the Dragons and this new role we’ve created will see him have a voice at board level and an input across the organisation.
“Our immediate need is the on-field success of the first team and Dean will lead the coaching team in preparation for next season as he gets to know the players and staff in the playing department.
“We are excited to see the impact Dean can have on rugby in Gwent for the Dragons.”
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