Richards ready to move on from ‘Bloodgate’

Former Harlequins Director of Rugby Dean Richards says that he is ready to move on despite admitting “huge regret” over the Bloodgate scandal that rocked English rugby.


Former England and Lions number eight Richards will return from a three-year worldwide coaching ban this summer when he starts work as Newcastle rugby director.


The 48-year-old has not been involved in rugby since stepping down from his post at Harlequins in 2009 over the use of fake blood capsules at a European Cup match.


The former police officer was banned for three years after he was adjuged to have played a central role in the incident.


“There is huge regret for everything that went on,” Richards told BBC Sport.


“I felt very guilty. I put a lot of people in a position where they could have lost everything.


“I’m not the type of person to go match-fixing. I am very competitive, and the reason I did it is because I wanted to win a game. I shouldn’t have done it.”


Richards, who won 48 caps for England and took part in two Lions tours in 1989 and 1993, now hopes to put the episode behind him.


“I hope I haven’t served my three years for nothing. I hope other people have learned from my mistakes,” he said. “I am still as competitive as ever, but I know the boundaries that I have to work in.


“People may think I am a cheat. That’s up to them, if they want to. I have no issues if that’s the way they feel.


“I know who I am, and I know what I did. I wasn’t particularly pleased with myself. I wasn’t proud of myself. But you move on and you look forward rather than back.”

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