Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Richards Deal Was No Surprise - Gold; Interim Falcons Coach Has Got Future Options

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Richards Deal Was No Surprise - Gold; Interim Falcons Coach Has Got Future Options

Article excerpt

Byline: Mark Smith

GARY Gold insists he is not put out by Dean Richards' appointment as Newcastle Falcons' director of rugby next season, and that there are "irons in the fire" when his contract expires in June.

The South African has proved a popular appointment since his arrival in January, and is currently focused on the task of delivering a 16th successive season of topflight rugby for the Kingston Park club. Asked about Richards' scheduled arrival this summer, however, the former Springbok assistant coach said: "The way that the contract negotiation was done, right from the beginning both parties did not want to commit to next year.

"The news about a new director of rugby coming in for next season was not a shock to me because I always knew there were talks going on, although I did not particularly know the identity of the person involved at the start."

The Journal can reveal that Richards will be in attendance at Kingston Park on Friday as Newcastle host Sale Sharks, purely in a spectator capacity due to the terms of his worldwide coaching ban for his part in the Bloodgate scandal at Harlequins.

Insisting there is no bitterness at Richards' appointment, Gold said: "It suited both parties, to be honest.

"I did not want to commit beyond the end of this season, and the club did not necessarily want to put a commitment in place beyond that because they did not know what the outcome [of the relegation race] would be. They did not want to sell themselves down the river by signing me on a two or three-year contract when they were under pressure, and there are also other irons in the fire for me.

"My family are back home in South Africa, and I will be heading there at the end of the season after I have put my heart and soul into this job."

Already starting to be linked with jobs at a host of Premiership rivals, the former London Irish boss said: "I don't have anything lined up per se, although there are a few opportunities that I am looking at. …

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