Rotherham’s new fly half, Caolan Ryan, 25, is coping well with challenges in the Championship which is a far higher standard than he’s been playing at with Coventry and Darlington Mowden Park.
Ryan is not a complete novice to the Championship because he played several games for Moseley, including one against Rotherham at Clifton Lane two seasons ago.
Nevertheless for the whole of last season and for almost three months of this campaign, Ryan has appeared in National One, a different level altogether.
“I came here because Rotherham were looking for players because of injuries and the coach Justin Burnell was impressed with what he saw of me on video.
“The move came out of nowhere. I agreed to sign on the Wednesday, agreed to play for Darlington Mowden Park on the Saturday and then drove to Rotherham the next day and had my medical on the Monday. I then came on as a replacement against Jersey. I was thrilled and to kick the two conversions that won the game was brilliant.
“I had a lot to learn in a week and the attention to detail by the Rotherham coaches is at a level I’ve never experienced before. I’m blessed to be surrounded by such knowledgeable coaches. The standard of preparation and analysis is outstanding. After the London Irish game, my play was looked at by two coaches, Rhys Edwards and Jon Clarke.
“What they showed when all the squad reviewed the match was that London Irish scored a try for every two tackles Rotherham missed. That’s an amazing conversion rate, so the individual skills in the Championship are much, much better.
“What we are told has to become second nature when you are under pressure in games and I am sure we will get better as the season progresses.”
Born to Irish parents who live in Birmingham, Ryan played for junior sides at Moseley before joining the Worcester Warriors academy at 16.
Ryan is now though very much part of the Rotherham squad and seems to have established himself quickly, lives in Treeton and while his feet have hardly touched the ground, he’s settled in well.
Perhaps the biggest personal challenge will be hold on to his first team place in the face of competition from the more experienced Will Robinson.