Hull KR winger Ethan Ryan will return to action in the next couple of weeks inspired by a fresh reminder of a special encounter with the late Ged Dunn.
The club were rocked this week by the death of Dunn at the age of 74 following a long illness.
A winger blessed with genuine pace, Dunn scored 160 tries in 296 appearances for Rovers to cement his status as a club legend.
The former England international stayed on as a coach and was a regular at Craven Park after ending his long association with the club in 1991.
Dunn was invited to make a special presentation to Ryan in early 2020, a moment that has stayed with Tony Smith and his KR squad.
“We’ve had the passing of Ged Dunn and he was here not so long ago to present Ethan’s debut jersey to him,” said Smith.
“As a team we had the great pleasure to meet Ged and hear some kind words passed on to Ethan for his career.
“He was a real gentleman, well educated, articulate and a very thoughtful man, a very humble man. Those were the things that really struck me.
“He felt honoured to come in and present the jersey. He was very humble about that. We’ve got fond memories of him.
“I didn’t get to see him play because it was before my time over here but from what I’ve been told he was a very special player.
“I think he passed on his blessing to another player who is going to be very special. If Ethan can go on to do just some of the things that Ged did in his lifetime, he’ll be a very lucky man.”
Ryan has not played since early May after undergoing surgery on a troublesome wrist injury that cut short his 2020 season.
Ethan Ryan scores a try against Castleford
(Image: © SWpix.com (t/a Photography Hub Ltd))
The winger was given a return date of mid-August and is on course to give the Robins a timely boost following the loss of Adam Quinlan, Jordan Abdull and Will Dagger to injury.
“He’s a week or two away,” said Smith.
“His wrist seems to have healed well. He’s just got to go through some contact drills and pass some physical tests before he’s able to play.”