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Barbarians open the door for Richards
ESPN Staff
October 14, 2012

The Barbarians have confirmed that they sounded out Dean Richards for their end-of-season games with England and the British & Irish Lions but the Falcons boss has opted against taking up the coaching reins on this occasion.

Richards' Newcastle Falcons side are currently six from six in the Championship and are making all the right noises about being in the mix come the play-offs later in the season. If Richards' team make the league final then there would be a fixture clash with the Barbarians - a possibility that has led to Richards turning down a potential invitation from the famous side.

The Barbarians face England on May 26 and then the Lions on June 1 in Hong Kong but it will not be Richards at the helm. "I can confirm that Dean Richards is on the shortlist," Barbarians' Mike Burton told the Rugby Paper. "Unfortunately he could not let his game go forward on this occasion because the dates clash with the Championship final and he hopes his Newcastle team will be in it.

"However, we have opened the door and we are very happy to keep it open. I am sure we can invite him on another occasion when he will be available. Dean has a long proud association with the Barbarians and we look forward to renewing that at some stage in the future."

Richards is back in the game after a three-year ban for his role in the infamous 'Blood-gate' incident at Harlequins. Prior to his time at Harlequins, Richards oversaw a period of dominance at the Tigers which returned four Premiership titles and two European Cups in his six-year tenure.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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