Highly-rated Ryan is leaving Pats for a New Zealand stint
OLD Patesians are hoping to send talented back-rower Aaron Ryan off on his travels with a home win over Marlow tomorrow.
Eighteen-year-old Ryan, son of former Gloucester director of rugby Dean who is now Scotland interim forwards coach, is heading to New Zealand to further his education.
Marlow currently occupy the last remaining place in the National Three South West relegation zone.
Pats director of rugby Dan Eddie said victory would be the prefect leaving present.
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"We've helped his rugby education because he has played first-team rugby here since the age of 18 with us and the Gloucester Under-20s," said Eddie.
"He has played a really positive part during that time and I'm sure he'll go on and achieve great things in New Zealand and come back an even better player.
"He's technically very good, particularly his body position at the breakdown.
"He has had to adjust to adult rugby because he used to smash school players and colts out of the way with ease.
"His handling ability, tackling technique at the breakdown, general game awareness and lines of running are first rate.
"He has all those bits that you need as a rugby player to be efficient and effective and that makes him extremely valuable.
"At the age of 18, that kind of intelligence and acumen is not easy to find."
Ryan will head to Scotland next week to be with his father, whose new team take on England on Saturday, February 2 in their opening game of the Six Nations.
The visit of Marlow is still in the balance with snow currently on the Everest Road pitch and an early inspection tomorrow is set to decide whether it goes ahead or not.
If the fixture does survive then Eddie has earmarked the game as a potential five-point bonus-point win for his men, who have not tasted victory since December 1.
He added: "When we last played them earlier in the season we lost 30-26 and it was probably our worst performance of the campaign, but we have come on leaps and bounds since then.
"We should win and we should win well and that is the coaching staff's expectations.
"We've tightened up since then and we're one of the highest bonus-point earners in the league and we've had some good performances defensively which we need to replicate."