Ryan: Important to manage our return


Boss Dean Ryan has outlined how the region will not rush any players back as they build-up to a return to Guinness PRO14 action.

The squad and management returned to Ystrad Mynach today (Wednesday) after self-isolating for 14 days – following advice from Public Health Wales after a number of positive Covid-19 cases.

League fixtures with Connacht Rugby and Glasgow Warriors have been postponed and a home date with Edinburgh Rugby next Monday has also been pushed back to ensure the safety of players as they bid to get up to match intensity.

And Ryan has revealed how the squad will go through a staged return as they look towards the away clash with Benetton at the end of November.

"It's a huge relief to be back. We've got a staged return over the next few days to make sure we don't compromise anybody because quarantine is different to lockdown," said the Director of Dragons Rugby.

"We were able to exercise in lockdown but this time we are working off the basis of 14 days of inactivity, which ultimately put paid to the Edinburgh game.

"We are taking the next few days as a staged return with a view to getting back to normal next week.

"We are being careful with what these first two or three days look like. That relief of being back is not being seen as burst the doors open and let’s get going.

“We have managed certain individuals and then others who are bursting to go. We will see how people react in the coming days.

"We would have loved to have played Edinburgh, but it would have been unsafe,” he added.

“The advice that we are getting is that we need some staged days of increasing load and then we need to back off again.

"That made it impossible for us to prepare for Edinburgh, the timeline was too tight.”

Reflecting on the time away, Ryan admits he is proud of the way it has been managed by the region and the processes in place.

"We wanted to do the right thing because the last thing we want to do is put ourselves at risk or our families and work colleagues at risk,” he said.

“We have followed the advice. Ultimately, there are people that are making those decisions higher up,” he said.

"The reality is that we are not playing in bubbles. We are working in a situation of mitigating risk, which means we still go home and go back into the community.

"We are doing our best to mitigate risk when we come back together or travel. It's very difficult when you are not in a completely controlled situation to understand what the sources are.

"There are definitely learnings, but I have been incredibly proud of how we set up the processes that are in place.

"We were able to identify very quickly, we were able to isolate very quickly and ultimately we were able to stop an outbreak situation.

"As with everybody with this virus, we are having to learn all the time. How we learn to keep rugby moving is a constant challenge."

I have been incredibly proud of how we set up the processes that are in place... How we learn to keep rugby moving is a constant challenge...
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