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'Riding the wave': Tim Ryan reacts to rapid rise, rugby league and Wallabies links, Reds re-sign World Cup rep

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23rd May, 2024
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Try-scoring machine Tim Ryan is momentarily putting his Wallabies dreams to the side so he can focus on helping the Queensland Reds have a deep finals run – as well as making sure he has the right boots. 

Ryan announced himself as a future star when he scored three tries on his starting debut in Queensland’s 41-34 loss to the Blues in round 10.

The 20-year-old scored two tries in his next game – a win over the Crusaders – and added another try in the round-12 win over the Rebels.

Ryan was given a “freshener” last week, with just 22 minutes off the bench in a 28-19 loss to Fijian Drua.

But the flying winger has been thrust back into the starting line-up for Saturday night’s crunch clash with the Western Force at Suncorp Stadium.

Ryan, who has scored six tries in six appearances for the Reds, is already on the radar of new Wallabies coach Joe Schmidt.

Tim Ryan. (Photo by Albert Perez/Getty Images)

“Obviously it’s pretty cool,” Ryan said on Wednesday. 

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“As a young kid I’ve always watched the Wallabies, so it is a big dream of mine.

“But I’m not focusing on that at the moment. We’ve got a bigger job ahead of us … leading into finals.”

Ryan has enjoyed travelling to different parts of the world this season, but it’s also come with some unexpected challenges.

“I learned first-hand playing in NZ that the field’s completely different,” he said.

“I was wearing my plastic studs and I was slipping all over the place, and we had to get some metal studs on as soon as possible.

“It’s been great travelling all around the world playing rugby, and I’m loving it.”

Reds coach Les Kiss lavished praise on Ryan, who has the nickname “Junkyard Dog”.

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“What we’ve seen from (him) is more than exciting. You just relish the prospects of what’s going to be in the future,” Kiss said.

“It’s not like he’s just finished the last (phase) in the movement, he’s created opportunities as well.

“He’s a good man, very coachable.

“He does the little things very well, and he has a sniff for the tryline.”

Ryan said he is just “riding the wave” of his debut season, and is glad he followed in the footsteps of his father in choosing union over league.

“I had a little bit of a decision to make about whether I wanted to go into league or union,” Ryan said.

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“I made the decision to go into union following what my dad did.

“He played at Brothers, so I went into Brothers.

“I haven’t looked back after that. I don’t regret anything, I’m loving it.”

Meanwhile, the Reds locked down housemates and front rowers Zane Nonggorr and George Blake on two-year deals.

Nonggorr, 23, and Blake, 22, are Queensland pathway products who were in the GPS premiership winning The Southport School team in 2019.

Nonggorr also re-signed with Rugby Australia.

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Zane Nonggorr of Australia poses for a portrait during the Australia Rugby World Cup 2023 Squad photocall on August 30, 2023 in Saint-Etienne, France. (Photo by Adam Pretty - World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

Zane Nonggorr. (Photo by Adam Pretty – World Rugby/World Rugby via Getty Images)

He won five Test caps off the bench for the Wallabies in 2023 including a trip to the World Cup.

“Definitely, it’s a great feeling to have this security for the next few years while I continue to develop my game,” Nonggorr said. 

“It’s good to stay in Queensland. I grew up here and I want to contribute to the best-possible finish for the Reds.

“Having four international props (Peni Ravai, Alex Hodgman, Jeffery Toomaga-Allen and Sef Fa’agase) at the club has helped me a lot.

“(Scrum coach) Zane Hilton is a very detailed coach. He cares with how passionate and invested he is to see the props improve.

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“It not only means a lot of positive competition in our position but competition at every training session to help you develop.

“I’ve started, come off the bench and played club rugby with Bond University this season. All those different experiences add up and I just want to do my best for the team.

“Last year with the Wallabies was a massive experience for me with all the learnings I took out of it. It’s really helped me become a better player.”

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