Widnes Vikings’ Ryan O’Brien leaves for Super League gig

WIDNES VIKINGS can confirm that performance manager Ryan O’Brien will leave the club at the end of this month to take up a coaching role at a Super League club.

O’Brien, 29, joined his hometown club as a player back in 2009 before progressing into the academy. Upon his release as a player, he volunteered at the club for three years whilst studying at university, progressing to scholarship head coach.

In 2016, O’Brien took on the full-time role of youth performance manager before becoming the club’s head of youth performance in 2019.

During his time in the youth department, O’Brien worked with many members of our current first team squad, as well as a number of players who have since moved on to Super League clubs, including Jon Bennison, Jarrod O’Connor and Sam Walters.

At the end of 2020, O’Brien moved up to the first team as assistant coach before taking on additional operational responsibilities as performance manager.

He also performed the role of interim head coach for seven games during the 2022 season, culminating in an 18-point comeback win against London Broncos.

On his move, O’Brien said: “This club has been a major part of my life for as long as I can remember, and I’ve made memories and friendships here that will last a lifetime.

“I’m sad to be leaving but at the same time really excited about the opportunity I’ve been presented with. I’ll remain a fan, and have no doubt the 2023 season will be a success given the strength and depth of the current squad.”

The Widnes club stated: “This opportunity for Ryan to move to a Super League environment is well deserved, and it came as no surprise that he was sought after for his new role.

“All at the club wish Ryan every success in his new venture and thank him wholeheartedly for his contribution to Widnes Vikings in so many ways.”