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Warren Redman Ryan (born 27 October 1941) is an Australian former professional rugby league football coach and player. He is considered as one of the most influential rugby league coaches of the 20th century.[1] Ryan also played in the NSWRFL Premiership for the St George Dragons and Cronulla-Sutherland Sharks.

Warren Ryan
Personal information
Full nameWarren Redman Ryan
Born (1941-10-27) 27 October 1941 (age 77)
Playing information
PositionCentre, Lock
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1965 St George 1 0 0 0 0
1967–68 Cronulla-Sutherland 22 1 0 0 3
Total 23 1 0 0 3
Years Team Pld T G FG P
1971–72 Country NSW 2 0 0 0 0
Coaching information
Years Team Gms W D L W%
1979–82 Newtown Jets 96 46 5 45 48
1984–87 Canterbury-Bankstown 106 70 3 33 66
1988–90 Balmain Tigers 76 50 1 25 66
1991–94 Western Suburbs 84 37 4 43 44
1999–00 Newcastle Knights 53 30 2 21 57
Total 415 233 15 167 56

He was formerly employed as a colour commentator by ABC Radio 702 for its Rugby League coverage. Ryan also formerly contributed opinion articles to the Brisbane Courier-Mail and Newcastle Herald.[2]



Ryan was also an elite track and field athlete, representing Australia in the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games in the Shot Put coming seventh in a field of sixteen with a throw of 51'8" (15.75m).[3] Ryan accredits his famous attention to detail in his coaching to his Czech-born track coach of this time.[citation needed]

Rugby leagueEdit

Playing careerEdit

Warren Ryan was a St. George Dragons lower grade player. He played in the Dragons 1965 reserve grade grand final win,[4] and appeared in first grade on a number of occasions as a replacement during 1966.[citation needed]

In 1967, he switched to the Cronulla Sharks in their debut season[5] and became a regular in first grade, and was club Captain at different times during 1967–68.

In 1969 he moved to Wollongong Wests and had four seasons there, the final two as captain-coach. He captained N.S.W. Country in 1972.[6]

Broadcaster and journalistEdit

Warren Ryan wrote for the Sydney Morning Herald for many years as a sports journalist. He is also a former member of the ABC Grandstand rugby league commentary team; where, rather than calling the match play itself, he supplied special comments throughout the broadcast.

After quoting a scene from Gone with the Wind, and referring to a character as described in the film as 'old darky', Warren was stood down from the ABC with his colleague David Morrow pending an investigation. The scene he referred to is the famous 'quittin' time' scene in which a slave calls quittin' time, presuming the role of the foreman, also a slave, to call quittin' time. Having asserted his rights, the foreman immediately calls 'quittin' time!' Ryan's reference to this scene, which he quoted literally, was to illustrate an incident which showed an apparent lack of teamwork between the referees controlling the game. Before an investigation could commence, Warren Ryan resigned. He had intended to retire at the end of the 2014 season, but brought it forward rather than endure the investigation. Ryan said, "The word used to describe the character was a direct quote from the film. There was no offence intended, so I won't be apologising. It would be insincere. Furthermore, there is no appeasing those who are determined to be offended. So that's it. I've had a long run and, for the most part, it's been very enjoyable."[7]

He proposed his own finals system, an alternative to McIntyre Final Eight and AFL, but it was not accepted.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

In April 2006, Ryan's son Matthew died of heart failure at age 24 following an overdose of the party drug, gamma hydroxybutyrate (GHB).[9]

On 11 November 2016, Ryan was charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm after an altercation at Pagewood Hotel. Ryan had allegedly assaulted the 75-year-old man over an argument regarding the outcome of the 2016 United States presidential election.[10][11] On 23 October 2017, Ryan was found guilty of common assault at Waverley Local Court and was put on a 12-month good behaviour bond.[11] In addition to his rugby league career, Ryan was also a longtime physical education teacher at Belmore Boys High School in Sydney's southwest.


  1. ^ "40 years on: the man who changed the game". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. 13 May 2007. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  2. ^ "Ryan to answer assault charge". Newcastle Herald. 1 December 2016. Retrieved 8 July 2019.
  3. ^ "Historical Results - Warren Ryan (NSW)". Athletics Australia. Archived from the original on 12 July 2012.
  4. ^ "Players P-Q-R". Jubilee Avenue. Archived from the original on 15 March 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  5. ^ "Warren Ryan - Career Stats & Summary". Rugby League Project. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  6. ^ "City vs Country (Firsts) 1972". Rugby League Project. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 27 August 2018.
  7. ^ Proszenko, Adrian (8 June 2014). "Ryan quits ABC job over racism row". The Border Mail. Archived from the original on 2 April 2015. Retrieved 3 March 2015.
  8. ^ Prichard, Greg (14 December 2003). "Board powerbroker lends weight to Ryan's finals system". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 18 February 2016.
  9. ^ Cubby, Ben (27 April 2006). "Dark time for family and friends farewelling Matthew Ryan". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  10. ^ Ralston, Nick (1 December 2016). "Donald Trump row leads to former rugby league coach Warren Ryan assault charges". Sydney Morning Herald. Fairfax Media. Archived from the original on 27 August 2018.
  11. ^ a b Rowsthorne, Sally (24 October 2017). "Warren Ryan convicted over altercation at pub". The Daily Telegraph. News Corp. Archived from the original on 23 October 2017. Retrieved 24 October 2017.
Preceded by
Johnny Raper
Newtown Jets

Succeeded by
Brian Moore
Preceded by
Ted Glossop
Canterbury Bulldogs

Succeeded by
Phil Gould
Preceded by
Bill Anderson
Balmain Tigers

Succeeded by
Alan Jones
Preceded by
John Bailey
Western Suburbs Magpies

Succeeded by
Wayne Ellis (caretaker) then
Tommy Raudonikis
Preceded by
Malcolm "Mal" Reilly
Newcastle Knights

Succeeded by
Michael Hagan