Your goal is always to leave something in better shape to pass on to the next generation
Ben Ryan is to stand down as England Sevens coach after more than six years in charge of the side.
The 41 year-old will help ensure a smooth transition takes place during the build-up to the new Sevens World Series and the recruitment process to identify his successor will be under way shortly.
England Sevens are also recruiting an assistant coach as Russell Earnshaw leaves the programme to take up a teaching career in Economics at Eastbourne College next month.
Ryan said: “I’m proud of what England Sevens has achieved in the last six years but I have decided that it is right for me and my career progress that I move on and let someone new take the side forward.
“I’ve loved working as England Sevens Head Coach and enjoyed every minute in a time of dramatic change for the sport and the squad. In 2007 I met one player for the first time at the airport heading for a tournament; six years later we have a full-time England squad operating to the highest professional standards.
“We’ve been the leading Northern Hemisphere side throughout that period and we’ve recorded some great tournament victories – including eight individual wins over New Zealand – as well as reaching a World Cup final for the first time in 20 years. Eleven of our players have gone on to play for England at senior level in that time.
“As a coach your goal is always to leave something in better shape to pass on to the next generation and I believe that’s been achieved.”
Ryan led the side through 56 Sevens World Series tournaments, reaching the semifinals or better 28 times and winning titles at Wellington (2008, 2013), Dubai (2010, 2011) and London (2008). England finished third overall in the Series in 2008, 2011 and 2012.
They also won the European Grand Prix series in 2012, finished fourth at the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi and second at this summer’s World Cup Sevens in Moscow.
He also oversaw the team’s transition to a full-time programme in 2010-11 and there are now 19 contracted England players preparing for the start of the new season in October.
RFU Chief Executive Ian Ritchie said: “Ben deserves a tremendous vote of thanks for all his efforts while in charge of the England Sevens team.
“He has made an important contribution both to England and to the development of the sport globally during a period of great change following its inclusion in the 2016 Olympics.
“He will leave firm foundations in place and a full-time squad who will be ambitious to make an impact next season in the Sevens World Series and at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow.”
England coach Stuart Lancaster said: “Ben’s made a major impact on and off the field in developing our sevens programme and making sure the team achieves high standards in international competition.
“He’s a first class coach who has helped his players fulfil their potential and many of them have benefited from his guidance on the way to senior international honours.
“I’m sure he will go on to achieve more great things and wish him all the best for his future career.”