He might have been touted as a possible successor to Andy Robinson as England head coach, but Gloucester's Dean Ryan is keeping his feet firmly on the Kingsholm turf.
"The only reason my name is being linked to the England job is because Gloucester are doing very well in the Premiership," said Ryan after his team's stirring win over Bath in this EDF Energy Cup tie. "My job is here. I have built a relationship with a group of players here. I have invested a huge amount of me in them, and they have invested a huge amount in me and I want to see that through to the end."
Judging by the way the Gloucester youngsters performed, Ryan already has a job which will benefit England, one with a little more stability, given the state of flux at Twickenham. "I am here for the long term," he said. "I haven't got my house on sale or anything. I am here, under contract, for the foreseeable future."
England's future does concern him, however, and not just for what Gloucester can offer. Bath's rugby league convert Chev Walker, playing only his fourth match for the senior side, caught Ryan's eye. The former Leeds Rhino was tipped for greater things.
"I thought Chev Walker looked really busy and lively.He is big man with good feet, he has a good off-load game. He is going to be a good player and I would imagine that eventually he will be competing for a place at international level."
Walker's centre partner, Tom Cheeseman, was another to have a good game for the losers, though control was Gloucester's for much of the match. The home side's own league convert, Karl Pryce, had a quiet but promising debut. His scoring pass for the flanker James Merriman's try was exemplary.
Jack Adams, not far behind England's Anthony Allen in ability and perhaps slightly quicker, also impressed. He had the benefit of playing alongside one of the forgotten men of English rugby, Mike Tindall. The 49-times capped World Cup winner was in imperious form, muscling through tackles before showing his superb distributive skills.
"We have missed Tinds' thought processes," Ryan said. "He is a very smart rugby player and does not get the credit for his value to a side on a pitch. I would be surprised if someone of his calibre is not in the England frame come the Six Nations. He has been playing well for us and he is back and enthusiastic. And that is good news for whoever is picking the England squad."
Gloucester owed much to their pack, who established an ideal platform from which the backs were able to work. English rugby looks to be in good hands under Ryan at Kingsholm.
Gloucester: Tries Penalty, Balding, Merriman, Walker; Conversions Walker 2; Penalties Walker 2. Bath: Tries Parkes, Cheeseman; Conversion Malone.
Gloucester: O Morgan; K Pryce, J Adams (J Simpson-Daniel, 56), M Tindall (capt), M Foster; W Walker, H Thomas (R Lawson, 61); P Collazo (J Forster, 23-29), R Elloway (R McMillan, 77), C Nieto (J Forster, 72), J Pendlebury (A Eustace, 62), W James, J Boer (A Brown, 72), J Merriman, A Balding.
Bath: M Stephenson; I Davey (J Cuthbert, 72), C Walker, T Cheeseman, D Bory; C Malone (capt), P Travagli (A Williams, 56); D Parkes (D Barnes, 53), D Ward, L Ovens, D Smith (J Miller, 40), R Fidler, H Louw, J Faamatuianu (C Brooker, 70), C Goodman (J Miller, 33-40; J Bentall, 78).
Referee: D Pearson (Northumberland).Reuse content