Dean Richards, the former England forward and Harelquins coach, is reported to be on the verge of being appointed Newcastle Falcons director of rugby.

Richards is currently serving a three-year ban following his involvement in the Bloodgate scandal when he was in charge of Harlequins.

His suspension ends in mid-August, when he is expected to take over from current Newcastle coach Gary Gold. Confirmation is expected from Kingston Park by the end of the week.

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