Andrew Ryan

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Andrew Ryan (born 2 December 1978, Dubbo, New South Wales) is an Australian former professional rugby league footballer of the 2000s and 2010s. An Australian international and New South Wales State of Origin representative forward, he played his club football in the National Rugby League for the Parramatta Eels and Canterbury-Bankstown Bulldogs, winning the 2004 NRL premiership with the Bulldogs and becoming their captain.

Playing career

A St. Johns Dubbo and Emu Plains JRLFC junior, Ryan made his debut for the Parramatta Eels against the Brisbane Broncos at Parramatta Stadium on 13 February 2000 (Round 2). He was named the 2000 Parramatta Eels season's rookie of the year. Ryan played from the interchange bench for Parramatta in their 2001 NRL grand final loss to the Newcastle Knights. After three seasons with the Parramatta Eels, the club was unable to retain Ryan due to the salary cap and the man known as 'Bobcat' accepted a deal to join arch-rivals the Bulldogs for 2003.

His second season with the Bulldogs was personally and professionally his most successful - with a return to State of Origin, selection at international level, and a premiership win in the 2004 NRL grand final for the Bulldogs over cross-town rivals, the Sydney Roosters. Ryan also captained the Dogs in this match with regular skipper Steve Price ruled out after sustaining an injury in the preliminary final against the 2003 premiers, the Penrith Panthers. Ryan was selected in the Australian team to go and compete in the end of season 2004 Rugby League Tri-Nations tournament. In the final against Great Britain he played at second-row forward in the Kangaroos' 44-4 victory. In 2005, Ryan became captain of the club following Price's move to the New Zealand Warriors. Ryan was selected to play for the Australian national team at lock forward the 2007 ANZAC Test match victory against New Zealand.[1] In 2009, he was named Dally M Captain of the Year, after leading the Bulldogs to within one game of a Grand Final appearance, after they had finished the year prior with the wooden spoon.

He was the last 2004 premiership-winning player still at the club when he retired at the conclusion of the 2011 season.

Ryan is now an ambassador and player welfare officer for the National Rugby League.[2]

Ryan is also an Australian Apprenticeships Ambassador for the Australian Government.[3]

Representative selection

Bobcat Ryan in action against the Broncos

Ryan was selected to represent New South Wales as variously a second-rower or lock in five series to the end of 2007:

Ryan was also a mainstay of the Australian Kangaroos, appearing in three Tri-Nations series in 2004, 2005 and 2006 as well as a Test against France in 2005. He was selected for Country in the City vs Country match on 8 May 2009.[4]