Former rugby union player and coach Ben Ryan has been appointed to the newly created role of Director of Elite Performance at Brentford FC.

The Club went through an extensive recruitment process for the role during the summer. Ben was chosen to take on the post and will start tomorrow, Tuesday 28 June, ahead of the start of pre-season training as Brentford prepare for the 2022/23 Premier League season under Head Coach Thomas Frank.

Ben is best known for his coaching work in rugby sevens. He was coach of the England team for six years and then held the same role with the Fiji national team. He was in charge of the Fiji side when rugby sevens was introduced to the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016. Fiji won the Gold medal, their first ever Olympic medal.

Phil Giles, Brentford FC Director of Football, said: “When Rasmus left us in December 2021, I spent some time thinking about the future direction of the department and what skills and experiences I felt we needed moving forward. Director of Elite Performance is a role I think will help us reach even higher levels of performance across both players and staff. After a thorough recruitment process, Ben emerged as the outstanding candidate.

“He brings huge experience of how to reach elite level across a range of sports and has a coaching background which will help him work effectively with Thomas. He is also a Brentford fan, so already understands the Club, knows what we’ve achieved already, and what we want to achieve together in future.”

Ben, 50, played rugby union at university as a scrum-half. When at Cambridge University he played against Oxford twice in the traditional varsity match at Twickenham, the home of rugby union. He also played club rugby for Nottingham and West Hartlepool, but it was in coaching that he was better known. He coached Newbury Blues 15-a-side team and was also Director of Rugby there before taking over as England coach in rugby sevens and starting the journey that took him to the Olympic Games.

Since leaving rugby full time, he has worked as a consultant for world class athletes, organisations and teams specialising in culture and improving high performance. He also attended Loughborough University, gaining a degree in Sports Science, and is a former PE Teacher. As well as mentoring individuals, Ben has also created his own podcast telling the stories of others who specialise in culture and performance.

Ben is a local man, attending Strand on the Green Primary School in Chiswick and then Wimbledon college, and is a Season Ticket Holder at our new stadium. He was also awarded the highest honour in Fiji for his role in their Olympic success – being named Companion of the Order of Fiji. His face also appears on coins and bank notes in Fiji.