NEC Harlequins are delighted to announce that Dean Richards has joined the club as Director of Rugby. The 41 year-old former England and British and Irish Lions international has signed a three year contract, and will join the Club from French side Grenoble where he has been General Manager since the start of the current season.
Prior to joining Grenoble, Richards enjoyed a very successful spell as Director of Rugby at Leicester Tigers. During his time in charge, Richards led the Club to four consecutive league titles in England (1998/99 to 2001/02) as well to back-to-back victories in the Heineken Cup (2000/01 and 2001/02); the first Club ever to achieve this feat in the competition.
During his playing career, Richards won 48 caps for England between 1982 and 1997, as well as winning six caps for the Lions on the tours to Australia and New Zealand in 1989 and 1993 respectively. Richards played 314 games for Leicester and helped the Club to win the league title in 1987/88 and 1994/95, as well as the Pilkington Cup in 1993 and 1997.
"I am delighted to be joining NEC Harlequins," said Richards. "I am really looking forward to the challenge of working with the current squad of players and taking them back to the Premiership in 12 months time."
"Dean's track record speaks for itself," said Mark Evans, NEC Harlequins Chief Executive. "He has had huge success throughout his career, both as a player and a coach. I am extremely confident that he will not only lead us out of Division One at the first attempt, but make us a formidable force on our return to the Premiership."
"Perhaps even more important, his personal qualities and commitment to vital components, such as honesty and integrity, made him the outstanding candidate amongst the huge list of interested candidates."
In addition to Richards joining Quins, assistant coach John Kingston has signed a new two year contract, having joined the Club in the summer of 2001 from Irish club side Galwegians.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.