BREAKING: St George Illawarra appoint Jason Ryles as head coachBY LEAGUE INITIATIVE
May 30, 2023 in Clubs, News, St George Illawarra Dragons
League Initiative can reveal that the St George Illawarra Dragons have officially appointed Jason Ryles as their head coach from the 2024 NRL season.
The Dragons are set to officially announce the appointment to Red V members and fans this week, however, League Initiative can confirm that ink has been put to paper.
Ryles is to be appointed for a four year term that includes performance hurdles in year three and four which will require the team to reach specific benchmarks.
As part of the negotiations, Ryles insisted that ultimate control of the football department must rest with the head coach in order to avoid interference from external factors. Ryles is said to be conscious of the issues that have hampered the club’s performance in recent years, therefore, ensuring that the football department has total control of football related matters, such as recruitment and retention, was a fierce priority for Ryles.
Ryles will now spend the remainder of the 2023 season finalising his support staff and reviewing the Dragons‘ roster until he is able to take over from interim head coach Ryan Carr. The Sydney Roosters have not shied away from airing their displeasure towards Ryles, and initially, were set to insist that Ryles be placed on gardening leave. However, the Roosters will immediately and acrimoniously part ways with their assistant coach.
Who is Jason Ryles?Jason Ryles made his NRL debut for the St George Illawarra Dragons in 2000 and played 156 games for the Red V until his departure in 2008. In 2009, Ryles joined the Catalans Dragons in France before returning to Australia with stints at the Sydney Roosters and Melbourne Storm.
Ryles commenced his coaching career in 2012 as an assistant coach for the NSW State of Origin under 20s rugby team. He continued in that role in 2013 and achieved success by defeating Queensland’s under 20s team in both years.
After retiring as a player in the National Rugby League, Ryles became the head coach of the Western Suburbs Red Devils for the 2014/2015 seasons. In 2015, Ryles was approached by the Melbourne Storm to join their coaching staff as an assistant coach. He held this position until the autumn of 2020. During his time with the Storm, Ryles also assisted in coaching England’s national rugby union team periodically. From 2016 to the present, Ryles served as the assistant coach for the Junior Kangaroos in 2016 and 2017. In autumn 2020, Ryles joined England as a full-time skills coach, but he was unable to participate in the 2021 Six Nations Championship due to travel restrictions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. He left the role in May 2021. In 2022, Ryles joined the Sydney Roosters as an assistant coach.