Beau Ryan bleeds Wests Tigers. His passion and love for the Club is infectious.
A player who runs great distances to celebrate a try, to give a team-mate a pat on the head or a quick hug. The utility who seems to have made an art of scoring tries from his own grubber kicks to get his team back into a game or even to win a match, the most memorable being against Canberra at Leichhardt Oval on a sunny Sunday afternoon.
Having overcome some harsh criticism in the past over mixing his footy with his entertaining role on The Footy Show, 2012 has seen Ryan produce his finest season since making his NRL debut for Wests Tigers against Canberra in 2006, be it playing full-back, wing or centre.
You can feel the emotion in Ryan’s voice when he reflects back on his time at Wests Tigers.
“I’m very proud of the achievement. Coach (Tim Sheens) says you are not a first grader until you have played 100 games and I always thought about that in the back of my mind leading up when I was in the highs 90,’’ Ryan said.
“I got told when I was younger that I would never play first grade by a lot of people. It was a mixture of things. It just shows that hard work and dedication does pay off.
“My family and people close to me have supported me and it just makes it that little bit more sweet.”
It is why Come Monday night at Campbelltown Sports Stadium against Parramatta, there will be no prouder man wearing the Wests Tigers jersey than Beau Ryan when he takes the field for his 100th NRL game.
“I’m very proud to play 100 games at the one club. I’m at a fantastic Club with good coaching staff. Our medical staff are great and to just stay on the field…some people get to play 100 games straight, some people get to play three games straight,’’ Ryan said.
“Just to be out there and play 100 games with my best mates is something I’m looking forward to on Monday night. I hope we can get a big crowd down at Campbelltown because I’m sure Parramatta won’t like playing there.”
Ryan wants Monday night to be a memorable one and knows what his team-mates need to do to take the two points in a must win match for Wests Tigers.
“We have got to work for each other. Defence is a big issue for us. We’ve done plenty of video and a lot of talk so now it is time for us to get out there and walk the walk,’’ he said bluntly.
“It’s a very important game. We are a proud Club and we have got a lot of proud fans who are at every game. The least we can do is to have a win on Monday night for them.”
Irrespective of the result, Ryan will be one of the last players to leave the ground, signing countless autographs and posing for photos with admiring fans who not only want to meet the player himself but that ‘funny man’ from The Footy Show.
After all, ‘Beau knows’ where he has come from to be where he is today