Richards aiming high at Newcastle
June 24, 2012
Dean Richards is setting his sights high when he starts his role as Newcastle Falcons' director of rugby in August © Getty Images
Dean Richards is determined to enjoy similar success to that he enjoyed at Leicester Tigers when his tenure as Newcastle Falcons director of rugby begins in August.
Even though Newcastle could be playing in The Championship next season, depending on the outcome of London Welsh's appeal after initially being denied promotion, Richards is already focused on bringing long-term success to the Geordies. As coach of Leicester he won back-to-back Heineken Cups in 2001 and 2002 and five league titles.
"I want to win the league and Heineken Cup with Newcastle," Richards told The Rugby Paper. "It would be wrong to put a timescale on those goals, because they are dependent on quite a lot of things, but I would not have taken over if I did not think I could achieve those things. I want to achieve them as quickly as possible, but a lot of hard work will need to go in first."
Richards will begin his new job when his three-year ban for his involvement in the Harlequins bloodgate scandal ends. He has already given his blessing to Peter Russell's appointment as head coach and Graham Steadman's appointment as defence coach.
There have also been a number of new players through the doors at Kingston Park. Scotland international Scott MacLeod is likely to form a second row partnership with fellow new recruit Italian international Carlo Del Fava. Meanwhile Scotland international Rory Lawson will fill the void left by Peter Stringer at scrum-half.
It is the ability to attract such players to Newcastle that meant Richards was unable to turn down the club's offer when it came his way.
"A number of clubs came knocking at my door and I feel very proud to be back involved in the game," Richards said. "I felt with Semore Kurdi at the helm the club was going somewhere. It is the club's potential along with his ambition and vision that I really bought into. I am counting down the days. I am chomping at the bit. I have found it difficult not being involved, but I know I have not got long to go. I looked at some of the things that worked at Harlequins but I am coming to a completely different club. Leicester was a different club to Harlequins and the way I approach things at Newcastle will be totally different. I want us to play with confidence and ambition and not be afraid to have a go."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards profiles French forward Walter Spanghero, a man who even rugby's hard men thought was a tough nut
"To be part of the Commonwealth Games, I'd wear anything. I'd wear a clown suit." Tom Hamilton talks to Scotland's Sean Lamont
Scrum Sevens looks back at how rugby has fared in both the early Olympics and the past four Commonwealth Games
"Cheika's been phenomenal. He gives you an incredible level of mental strength." Tom Hamilton talks to Waratahs star Jacques Potgieter