'Redeemed' Richards awarded new Falcons contract
TRANSFER NEWS: Dean Richards' achievement in guiding Newcastle Falcons to their highest Premiership finish in two decades has earned the former England back-row great a new three-year contract.
The 54-year-old has redeemed himself in his six years at the helm after the disgrace when he left Harlequins over the 'Bloodgate' scandal.
Richards, capped 48 times by England and who also won six caps for the British & Irish Lions, has taken the 1998 champions up from the second tier in 2013 to reaching the Premiership play-offs this term.
Richards, a former policeman, broke the news of his new contract at a Falcons fans’ forum event.
"I feel passionate about the club, I always wanted to remain here and there is still a lot of work to do in terms of continuing the great progress we are making," he said.
Newcastle Falcons chairman Semore Kurdi was delighted to have been able to secure Richards services for a further three years.
"Everyone within rugby knows what an outstanding job Dean has done here both on and off the field, and it's fantastic news that he will be with us for the long term," said Kurdi.
Richards will derive extra satisfaction in succeeding at the unglamorous club who took a chance on him after he had completed a three year ban for his role in the so-called 'Bloodgate' scandal.
Richards was found to have Harlequins player Tom Williams fake a blood injury -- biting down on a blood capsule -- to get himself taken off and the experienced kicker Nick Evans replace him in a European Cup match with Leinster and the match delicately balanced at 6-5.
Evans, though, was to miss a drop goal and Leinster held on to win.
"I took full responsibility for it. It was a farcical situation, it really was," Richards said after he was banned in 2009.