Why Richards will take Falcons to top

BUILDING A LEGACY: Falcons’ director of rugby Dean Richards and owner Semore Kurdi

BUILDING A LEGACY: Falcons’ director of rugby Dean Richards and owner Semore Kurdi

First published in Sport

HE has roomed with Newcastle boss Dean Richards; played alongside him for England, against him with Bath and still remains a close friend and so Nigel Redman is well placed to analyse his impact with the Falcons.

Redman is back in the Aviva Premiership as forwards coach with Worcester, having moved to Sixways in the summer following a long stint at the RFU, coaching age-group sides.

The former England lockwho also toured with the 1997 Lions to South Africa, has been impressed by Newcastle’s eight out of eight start to the Championship season.

Despite the play-off system in the Championship and the perceived lottery it creates surrounding promotion, having already amassed over 300 league points this season, Redman insists it’s a formality that Richards and Newcastle will return to the Aviva Premiership next season.

What has particularly impressed Redman this season, is Richards’ total belief that his Newcastle post is a longterm project – it’s not about short-term promotion, it’s about the Falcons again becoming a competitive topflight club again.

Having seen the impact and legacy Richards has created in his previous posts at Harlequins and Leicester – the pair contested last year’s Aviva Premiership final at Twickenham – Redman is convinced the Falcons have a star at the helm.

“Dean did it at Leicester and Harlequins and I am sure he will do the same at Newcastle,”

said Redman, speaking at the launch of the LV=Cup. “It is a new challenge for him but I am sure he is the right man for the job.

“So while everyone is looking at Newcastle this season and saying they must get promoted, I can assure you that not only is Dean looking at that as well but he is also looking beyond that and already planning for promotion when or if that happens.

“That is why he is so crucial to that club because he will be committed to getting it back to where it was, not just thinking short term.

“It is funny because Newcastle is almost like an outpost up there but it has always produced good players.

“There are a number of recent England internationals that have learned the game in Newcastle and I know Dean will play a huge role in replicating this.

“They have a good philosophy up there of taking in good youngsters and turning them into really good people and really good rugby players and that bodes well for when they return to the Aviva Premiership – it’s a winning formula.”

Although acknowledging Richards’ previous misdemeanors while in charge of Harlequins, Redman praised the former Leicester Tiger for the detailed rebuilding job he has already undertaken with the Falcons.

Arriving at a club that had suffered years of underachievement and below-par signings in the summer – Richards desire to build a quality coaching team around him, which includes former England-man John Wells – is already reaping rewards, says Redman.

“Dean served his penalties for the things he did earlier in the career and I am glad he is back because he is a terrific coach,’’ he said.

“I had a few tours when we used to share together and he is a terrific man and I am glad we are talking about that again – his rugby knowledge and ability is second to none.

“Newcastle were always going to be competitive but people like him and John Wells will really make sure that they are not just looking at this season and that they are already planning and looking forward.

“They have a wonderful structure in place at Newcastle and now it’s down to Dean building on that and delivering long-term stability and success on and off the field.”

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