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Aviva Premiership
Warriors deny approach for Richards
ESPNscrum Staff
February 7, 2012
Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards casts an eye over his side, Harlequins v Leinster, Heineken Cup, The Stoop, Twickenham, England, April 12, 2009
Dean Richards is unlikely to be in charge of the Warriors come next season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Danny Gray | Richard Hill | Dean Richards
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

The Worcester Warriors have denied rumours that Dean Richards is set to join the Sixways side as their director of rugby.

Richards has been constantly linked with the Warriors during his three-year ban from rugby due to the infamous 'bloodgate' incident, but the Aviva Premiership side have distanced themselves from the former Leicester and Harlequins coach. The Warriors' managing director Charlie Little has claimed that although discussions have taken place with Richards - whose ban ends at the end of the season - they are keen on retaining their current hierarchy.

"It is fair to say that we had a discussion with Dean, but that emanated from the early conversations we had during the RFU-approved external review of our relegation year," Little told Worcester News. "When he came in as a consultant the idea of him becoming director of rugby here was, and still is, at some stage a possibility. We have a good relationship with him.

"At the moment we have discussed it at board level and I am authorised to say Dean is not coming in as director of rugby. He would be one of a number of people on our list if things changed.

"Some people may question it, but I have no issue with the past as he has done his time and don't see why he can't come back into rugby. However, the big issue is that what Richard and Phil Davies are currently doing is exactly what the board has asked of them. They only had one chance to get us up out of the Championship, which they did, and they are now successfully continuing to instil their playing style.

"Hopefully, we are looking up the table rather than down it now and we are getting to a situation where we can recruit players for next season earlier, which is easier when you have security in the division, although we are not there yet."

Little, however, has not ruled out a move to bring in an extra coach to help Hill and Davies with their day-to-day running of the club. "We are happy with the structure of our coaching team at the moment and the skill-set of Richard, Phil Davies and Phil Larder," Little said. "The academy continues to deliver under Andrew Stanley and Gary Meechan.

"What we may look at is bringing in an additional coach. If we could bring in someone else who would complement the current team then it would free up more time for Richard. There are areas where we could bring in a dedicated coach, as we have done with Phil Larder. If that does happen, it would be next season now as most people out there are under contract."

And Worcester have been handed a boost with the news that fly-half Danny Gray has signed a new deal with the side. Hill hopes Gray will continue to provide competition in the half-back role alongside Andy Goode and Joe Carlisle.

"Danny is an excellent professional who we signed to compete for a starting place with Andy and Joey," Hill said. "He has impressed everybody at Warriors with the way he works hard on every aspect of his game to improve his performance.

"The squad now has every confidence in him and that is testament to the work and effort he has put in. He wants to play every week and feature in as many games as he can for the first team. It is vital that we have three top fly halves at Warriors and in Danny, Andy and Joey we have real competition for the No.10 shirt going forward."

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