Tuesday 28 January 2020

Richards excited by Falcons role

Dean Richards. Photo: Getty
Dean Richards. Photo: Getty

Newcastle falcons' next director of rugby Dean Richards is itching to get his hands dirty again after growing increasingly frustrated during his three-year 'Bloodgate' ban.

Richards has confirmed he will take over at Kingston Park from Gary Gold after his three-year suspension expires on August 19.

The 48-year-old Richards guided Leicester to four Premiership titles and two Heineken Cup crowns before taking Harlequins to the last eight in Europe -- the round where the scandal occurred in their defeat to Leinster.

"The first year (of the ban) was the most difficult in many ways," Richards said. "In other ways perhaps it wasn't, though. Because the job is basically 24/7, you tend to neglect your family growing up.

"It is only in the past three years that I have spent the amount of time I have wanted to with my wife and kids, and just watching the children playing rugby has been fantastic.

"In the last 12 months I have grown more and more frustrated. I watch the games every week and, like any coach, I am thinking, 'Why are they doing that?'

"Every coach's opinion is probably different from the next, but it has been frustrating and I want to get back in. I am raring to go, and I just can't wait."

De Luca back for Scots

Centre Nick de Luca has been restored to the starting line-up in Scotland's only change for Saturday's Six Nations wooden spoon decider with Italy.

Max Evans, who took De Luca's place in the team against Ireland, has taken Lee Jones' slot on the right wing.

Head coach Andy Robinson has 11 losses from 14 Six Nations matches after defeats to England, Wales, France and Ireland in the tournament thus far and must win for Scotland to avoid a seventh successive defeat.

Italy coach Jacques Brunel has made six changes to the squad that lost against Wales.

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