Former Knights coach Warren Ryan is to be charged after he allegedly assaulted another man in an argument

FORMER Knights coach Warren Ryan is to be charged after he allegedly assaulted another man in an argument over Donald Trump at a pub in Sydney's east.

NSW Police said Ryan, 75, will be charged with assault occasioning actual bodily harm over the incident at the Pagewood Hotel at Maroubra on November 11.

Ryan became involved in a heated altercation with another man, also 75, when he allegedly turned violent and assaulted the other man.

DRAMA: Warren Ryan

DRAMA: Warren Ryan

It is understood the initial argument was about the US presidential election and Donald Trump's victory just days earlier. Fairfax Media does not know if Ryan was for or against the Trump campaign.  The former first-grade player, coach and commentator then allegedly left the scene.

His alleged victim attended Prince of Wales Hospital where he was treated for cuts to his head and chest.

NSW Police said the man reported the incident to them on Wednesday and that Ryan was now to be charged.

Ryan is a two-time premiership-winning coach who guided five different clubs to finals football.

He coached the Knights in 1999 and 2000, winning 30 of 53 matches.

In 1999, Newcastle were knocked out in the first round of the play-offs after a 30-16 loss to Parramatta.

The following season, they led the Roosters at half-time in the grand final qualifier, only to suffer a heartbreaking 26-20 defeat.

That was to be Ryan’s last game as head coach, after a 20-year career that included stints with Newtown, Canterbury, Balmain and Wests before becoming the first home-grown Novocastrian to take charge of the Knights.

Regarded as one of the most influential tacticians in rugby league history, Ryan’s first notable coaching feat was when he took giant-killers Newtown to the 1981 grand final, which they lost 20-11 to Parramatta.

He steered Canterbury to three straight premiership deciders between 1984 and 1986, winning the first two.

He then switched to Balmain, who lost the 1988 and 1989 grand finals under his tuition.

As a player, Ryan was signed by St George as a junior from Newcastle in 1964.

He also represented Australia at the 1962 British Empire and Commonwealth Games as a shot-putter, finishing seventh.

Ryan also had a long-term stint as a commentator on ABC Radio, and was a popular columnist for the Newcastle Herald for more than a decade after his coaching career had finished.

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