Beau Ryan knows how to juggle careers
Phil Rothfield, Sports Editor-at-large
From: The Daily Telegraph
September 06, 2011 12:00AM
BEAU Ryan used to be known as the comedian who played NRL footy on the side.
He’s now become the footy player who does television and humour in his spare time, starring on the flank for the Wests Tigers instead of in the studio for The Footy Show.
Juggling a professional rugby league career with another high-profile job can create huge pressure.
If he’s playing poorly and the Tigers are struggling, critics accuse him of spending too much time cracking jokes on Thursday nights on Channel 9. But now the joke’s on the opposition.
Channel 9 couldn’t be happier with him and, more importantly, it’s the same case with his veteran coach Tim Sheens.
“Beau’s got enormous talent for the media,” Nine’s Footy Show boss Gary Burns said. "I have no doubt that one day he could host his own TV show or even a radio show.
“He’s a natural and there is no limit on how far he can go in this business. We understand football is his priority but television could well be his future down the track.”
Sheens insists he has always had a high opinion of the 26-year-old winger. “I think he’s been through a cycle,” Sheens said yesterday.
"He went from a football player doing television to a television personality playing football - then back again to what he’s doing now.
“He was playing good football in the first place, which got him the Channel 9 gig.”
The Wests Tigers, and even Sheens, who is as strict as any coach in the business, have no problems with him doing both.
“Some players play golf on their day off. He goes and has some fun doing some television,” Sheens said.
"There’s no issue as long as it doesn’t distract him. If we’ve got a Friday night game, I like to keep him and Benji (Marshall) off the show.
"It’s all about managing your time properly. Footy players used to have a job. Now they’re full-time but they’ve still got to have other interests in life, whether it’s a special hobby, golf or even studying for your future.
“At the moment, TV is his interest and good luck to him as long as it doesn’t overtake his football.”
The former Wollongong junior is now in his fifth season with the Wests Tigers. And despite a reputation for having the odd mistake in his game, don’t try telling that to Tim Sheens.
“Please. Wingers are under pressure all the time,” Sheens said.
"There’s not a winger in the game who doesn’t drop a ball, get pushed over a sideline, spill a bomb. It’s just the nature of the game. Everything they do is high-risk football. They make five tackles in a game but if they miss one it’s a try. I don’t think there’s that many mistakes in him.
“One day he tried to flick a 40/20 back into play and the other team scored. But that’s happened before with a lot of other wingers, too.”
Meanwhile, Channel 9 executives are more than happy that he concentrates on his football first and foremost.
“Beau actually suspends himself from TV three or four times a year if he’s struggling and needs a break for his footy,” Burns said.
"That’s why we film some stuff in advance before the season starts.
“He’s so good, we want him on the show every week.”