The latest player to re-sign for Fylde’s 2020-21 season is backrower Ben O’Ryan.
Ben, 24, grew up in Blackburn and played at Blackburn RUFC from the age of seven to sixteen. He progressed to Myerscough College’s AASE programme whilst earning representative honours with both Lancashire U’18s and Irish Exiles U’18s. He pays particular tribute to his father and the coaches at Blackburn for his progress, and adds in the Myerscough coaches, including Warren Spragg, as helping his development along the way.
His performances for the Exiles brought him to the attention of Ulster and he was invited to play in Northern Ireland for Ulster’s U’19s and U’20s. He joined Ballymena and was with the club for three seasons. He also had a season in Australia with the GPS club in the Queensland Premier Division.
Ben joined Fylde at the start of the 2018-19 season and has made 37 appearances for the Club in National Two (North). He was more or less an ‘ever present’ in 2018-19 but injury and competition for places in the 1st XV squad reduced his opportunities last season. In order to give him game time he went on loan to North Premier’s Rossendale RUFC for the second half of the campaign.
He spoke to the NCA website in early June 2020 and explained why he chose to play at the Club, its strong family and community values which he enjoys, and the spirit within the squad.
Warren Spragg said: “Ben O’s a great character who has been a really good squad member over the past 2 seasons. Injury held him back a bit last year but hopefully he will be back to his best and pushing into the squad on a regular basis this season.
“He’s also got a unique following on Facebook which always brightens up the team announcements!”
Ben, 6’1” and 100kg, is comfortable in both the open and blind side wing forward positions. “They are very different roles but I like the test of having to be adaptable” he said. “I think that my strengths are in working hard in defence and linking with the back line in attack.”
He added: “I’m excited to be back at the Woodlands and looking forward to hopefully playing some good rugby this year. We’ve lost a few good players and they’ll all be missed but I’m sure we’ve got the right players this year to achieve what we all want as a squad.”