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Dublin: -2°C Sunday 11 April 2021

Time served: Richards will return from ban next season

Dean Richards, who orchestrated the ‘bloodgate’ feigned injury scandal, will be given a role at Newcastle Falcons when his ban expires this August.

Image: Joe Giddens/EMPICS Sport

THREE YEARS ON from the infamous Heineken Cup quarter final defeat to Leinster, Dean Richards will return to rugby with Premiership side, Newcastle Falcons.

Richards, then director of rugby with Harlequins, was the man behind the blood capsules taken by wing, Tom Williams.

The idea behind the illegal move was to force a ‘blood-sub’ – allowing drop-goal specialist, Nick Evans, back on the field after he had been substituted off.

Richards later admitted to orchestrating the illusion and his honesty helped team doctor, Wendy Chapman, to avoid being struck off the medical register for attempting to cover up the scandal.

Williams was banned from the sport for 12 months, while Richards resigned from his role at ‘Quins after being handed a three year ban.

Today, the north-eastern club announced on their website that Richards will take up the director of rugby role when his suspension is lifted in mid-August.

“I am delighted to get the opportunity to join Newcastle Falcons.” said the 48 cap England international, “Whilst there was interest from other clubs, there are two reasons why I chose the Falcons – the supporters and Semore Kurdi’s ambition for the club.”

Richards, who has recently acted as an advisor to Worcester Warriors will be replacing Gary Gold at the club.

Falcons owner, Kurdi, was grateful for Gold’s work to date, but hastened to mention the relegation fight in which they are currently engulfed.

“In the meantime,” said Kurdi, “we are 100% behind Gary and his team who have and who continue to work magnificently as we fight to preserve our Aviva Premiership status.”

The Falcons currently lie rock bottom of the table, eight points adrift of London Wasps, so Richards’ first game in charge could well be in the Championship.

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Sean Farrell

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