Newcastle Falcons have announced that Dean Richards will take over as director of rugby when his three year ban from the sport expires in August.
Richards was banned after instructing Harlequins wing Tom Williams to insert a blood capsule into his mouth, faking injury and thereby allowing a tactical substitution which would not otherwise have been allowed during the Heineken Cup quarter-final against Leinster back in April 2009. The scandal became known as “Bloodgate” and was considered one of the most serious in rugby since the game became professional.
The former Leicester and Harlequins boss revealed that he had received a number of offers from AVIVA Premiership clubs but that Newcastle showed the most ambition.
“I am delighted to get the opportunity to join Newcastle Falcons,” Richards told the club’s official website: “Whilst there was interest from other clubs, there are two reasons why I chose the Falcons – the supporters and (club owner) Semore Kurdi’s ambition for the club. I met up with Semore and his vision made my mind up.”
48 year-old Richards’ ban expires on August 19 and he will then take over from Gary Gold, who was appointed on a short-term deal by the Falcons back in January.
The 48 times capped Richards comes with an impressive managerial CV having led Leicester Tigers to four Premiership Titles and two Heineken Cups triumphs.