Jase Ryan Coaching Philosophy

I Coach because its my Passion. I love the challenge of being creative, and igniting players to be the best they possibly can, both on and off the field.

Having a safe environment helps players learn, build leadership and team culture. I am a strong believer that as a coach you have to care about people and show this through your actions and always make time.

To earn respect from players, coaches, management teams and the general rugby public you have to live by your standards and be honest.

Set Piece: We take pride on “micro detail” and ”technical delivery” on Scrum, Lineout, and general forward play. We consider Front Row Club to be a program with huge potential and a world leader in this specialist coaching area. We have presented set piece philosophy & techniques to young aspiring players as well as coaches and players at the highest level

MINDSET       First never follows – Same as last year wont be good enough

The Front Row Club will bring all levels of the game together from professional to grassroots level.

Former All Black Coach Mike Cron says “There is a strong need for front row development right across the board. I am right behind Jason & his concept!

Rugby Unions, Professional coaches, Players, Schools, Universities and Clubs interested in running sessions should contact Jason Ryan through this website or via Front Row Club Facebook page & Instagram

Owen Franks – Testimonial

“Jason really pushed me as a player. He has world-class detail and work ethic. He is always trying to make players better and he is honest.  “

Owen has previously represented the Canterbury Rugby Football Union in the Mitre 10 Cup, the Crusaders in the international Super Rugby competition and New Zealand at international level.

He made his debut for New Zealand in 2009 and played 108 tests across a 10-year period, making him one of the most-capped rugby players of all time.

He was a member of the squads that won the 2011 and 2015 Rugby World Cups, and is one of only twenty dual Rugby Union World Cup winners.

Corey Flynn – Ambassador

” What excites me is that Front Row Club can offer the whole package to do with Scrummaging and set piece. Good set piece is crucial to the expansive game we all like to play so if you are a player, coach amateur or professional team Front Row Club can help with specific requirements for this area.”


On a Journey.

In the past, getting to coach a side like the Crusaders you’d normally had to of played for them or at least played Super Rugby, and I hadn’t. So it was a big and very rare step for Razor, and the Board, to appoint someone from outside of the previous mould. Thankfully their courage has paid off with us winning three titles, so I guess that’s a great lesson that there are great rewards available for being brave.

Only 2 years earlier I was working full time selling mining equipment and spending a lot of time on the West Coast. Outside of that, all of my spare time was spent as a specialist scrum coach at club and academy level and also a handful of hours per week with the Canterbury Mitre 10 Cup side. It was then when Razor bailed me up and asked if I was interested in stepping up into the Canterbury Men’s Assistant Coach role. I thought, this is awesome, my dream had come true!

The down side to it was that it was only a 4-month contract. So, I went to my boss and asked if I could take unpaid leave. Having already had some time away with other commitments during the year, he understandably said no.Initially I found that really hard. Torn between this wonderful opportunity with something that I’m truly passionate about and having the security of a full-time job and money to provide for my family. After all, I have a wife, two kids, and a mortgage to think about.‘Was this a selfish decision for me, or a family decision, or was it a little bit of both if it worked?’
After a fair few sleepless nights, and talking to some people close to me the conversations quickly turned to ‘can we do it, can we actually afford to live?’

In the end it was Dad who got me across the line, he said ‘you’re young enough to get another job somewhere if it doesn’t work out, you’ve just got to back yourself. Don’t die wondering was his words.’ So, I did it and resigned. But it was pretty scary when my first pay packet came in on a 4-month contract.

I reckon that’s why dad was just so proud that night. During those times when the outcome wasn’t clear for everybody to see, we backed ourselves and made it work.

We had 4 great years with Canterbury winning 3 titles, a World Cup with the New Zealand Under 20s and now three titles with the Crusaders and still as driven as ever to get better.

I truly value the relationship I have with Ray, he challenges me every day and just like the players, he wants you to bring your own personality out. We’ve got a mutual respect and more importantly trust with each other, which is critical. And we have fun along the way.

The Interview.

I’ve been fortunate enough to have someone like Mike Cron as a mentor. He’s one of the best humans you’ll ever meet, and one of the best coaches in the world in my opinion. He’s been huge for me and my development as a coach, he’s always got time, a great sharer, and the best at what he does. I always value the chats I have with Crono. As a former cop, with a lifetime of experiences away from rugby, he’s also a really good example of the fact that you don’t have to have played at that level to be a great coach, which helped give me the confidence in my application for the Assistant Coach role at the Crusaders.

Many people thought that because Razor and I had coached Canterbury and New Zealand Under 20s together that I would naturally follow him to the Crusaders as his assistant, but it didn’t happen as easily as that.

Razor told me it was his responsibility to find the best man for the job, so he was going to go to market and I’d have to throw my hat in the ring just like everybody else. That also made the appointment special.

So, when I went for the interview it was Crono’s example that I was able to draw on in my presentation. One thing I said was ‘I haven’t worn the jersey, so that would give me an ability to challenge and look at things in a different way. I have a point of difference that I can offer the boys outside of the preview and review of the game. I have life skills and a few other bits and pieces there.’

They had guys like Owen Franks and Wyatt Crockett, Kieran Read and Sam Whitelock with a hundred plus Super Rugby Caps as well as guys like Codie Taylor and Luke Romano, so they all know what they’re doing, but maybe I could bring something fresh to the group. A different way of looking at things.

Yes, the technical stuff is super important, but so too is all the other things away from rugby.
I think it’s also been important to back being yourself and being honest and upfront. If you’re not sure of something don’t make out you do know, if you don’t.
Being honest and comfortable and confident to back my point of difference was key to landing that role I think.


Aside from my time at Sydenham, I also got my chance to cut my teeth in coaching Heartland Rugby with West Coast.

It was an unreal experience and something I’ll never take for granted. We had guys turning up to training covered in coal, farmers walking in late, but to be honest it wasn’t really late, because we could all appreciate that they’d made the effort to be there, so being late didn’t matter.

Coaching those amateur sides has helped me and given me an appreciation that now, as a professional coach, I can fall back. We had farmers from Haast down in South Westland, that had to travel four or five hours for training and then either go home or try and work something so they could stay the night. Often, they’d have to get a shift milker in to run their farm while they were away.

They showed a real commitment and dedication to playing for the province. They played purely for the pride of doing so.
What I learned there was, if you create an environment that players think ‘actually I want to be there’, they turn up.
It comes back to, ‘if somethings important you’ll make time, if it’s not, you’ll make an excuse.’

I can remember having a plan for a scrum coaching session for our forwards, and only two players turned up. One front rower and one lock, so my whole plan had to change. We ended up just focusing on the prop and the lock together on one sled and an I-pad. We actually had a great session, and they probably got the best learning out of it compared to if the whole forward pack was there. So that sort of experience taught me how to adapt and be ready, things change in front of you.The same with being put under pressure in professional rugby, you can have a plan, but things change pretty fast, so I guess having those experiences early in my life have helped me there too.

Moving forward and what’s ahead? I’m just extremely driven with a mindset of trying to be better every day and continue to grow as a coach.

The continued support I get from my family in particular Cath, Olly & Emma is the key ingredient for this to happen.

Comments are closed.