Aviva Premiership: New Falcons deal was an easy decision, says Richards

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby expresses his delight at signing a new three-year deal with the Kingston Park club

The Sport Review staff
By The Sport Review staff

Dean Richards admits that signing a new deal with Newcastle Falcons was an easy decision.

The 51-year-old, who took up the role at the Falcons following his three-year ban for his part in the “Bloodgate” scandal that emerged following Harlequins’ 2009 Heineken Cup quarter-final defeat to Leinster, has agreed a new three-year deal that will keep him at Kingston Park until June 2018.

There is still a great deal of work to do before we start to realise our potential…the club is in good shape, and we will really start to see the benefits of a lot of good work over the next few seasons.

Dean Richards on Newcastle Falcons’ future

The Falcons are still languishing in the bottom two of the Aviva Premiership since Richards took the club up from the Championship in 2013, but have begun to see a small upturn in fortunes with the club focused on talent development.

The club have already avoided relegation this season, due in part to London Welsh’s dismal season, and have reached the European Challenge Cup quarter-finals after an impressive showing in the pool stages.

“I’m delighted to have agreed this extension at the club,” Richards said.

“We are building a strong and sustainable club here at Newcastle, and I’m particularly pleased at how the players, coaching staff, and off-field staff have bought into our vision.

“We have come a fair way over the past three years, but there is still a great deal of work to do before we start to realise our potential.

“However I am confident that the club is in good shape, and we will really start to see the benefits of a lot of good work over the next few seasons.

“I have really enjoyed my time in the north east so far, so agreeing to stay and continue living in the region was an easy decision.

“We also have a fantastic, very knowledgeable and loyal supporter base here at the Falcons, and it’s tremendous to see that number growing over the past 12 months.”

Falcons Academy players including Simon Hammersley, Scott Wilson and Chris Harris have all been given a chance to break into the first team under Richards’ leadership, with a focus on homegrown talent rather than a reliance on expensive foreign imports.

What he understands better than anyone is how to balance the longer term planning with the need to put in the right performance on the next weekend’s game.

Falcons chairman Semore Kurdi on director of rugby Dean Richards

The former Leicester Tigers and Harlequins boss, along with former Tigers team-mate John Wells and attack coach Dave Walder, a former Falcons outside-half, have improved on the number of points and tries scored so far this season, compared with last season.

And Falcons chairman Semore Kurdi believes Richards is the right man to take the club further forward in the coming years.

“We are very pleased that Dean has agreed to continue as director of rugby for the next three years,” said Kurdi.

“As the most successful director of rugby in Premiership history he brings tremendous experience, knowledge, as well as a winning mentality to the club.

“He is central to the continued growth of Newcastle Falcons over what will be a very exciting period for the club game in England.

“What he understands better than anyone is how to balance the longer term planning with the need to put in the right performance on the next weekend’s game.

“His work in bringing through quality, young English-qualified players is already starting to have an impact performance wise for the first team.

“Similarly the culture that he has instilled throughout the team and coaching staff is first class and is something will continue to develop and benefit Newcastle Falcons moving forward.”

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