O'Shea emerges as favourite for Harlequins post

Harlequins are expected to name a new director of rugby soon, with former Ireland full-back Conor O’Shea thought to be the front-runner for the post.

Harlequins are expected to name a new director of rugby soon, with former Ireland full-back Conor O’Shea thought to be the front-runner for the post.

However, the Quins former director of rugby Dean Richards could one day make a controversial return to the club.

Richards was handed a three-year worldwide ban from coaching after he was found guilty of orchestrating the ’Bloodgate’ scandal which rocked the club this summer.

In August an ERC panel found that the former England forward had ordered Tom Williams to bite on a blood capsule during Quins’ Heineken Cup tie with Leinster to allow fly-half Nick Evans to return to the field.

Quins were fined £260,000 in light of the findings of the panel and the club also went close to being thrown out of the Heineken Cup.

Chief executive Mark Evans said last week that he still respects Richards and would not rule out the possibility of the former England number eight making a return The Stoop.

Veteran Quins hooker Tani Fuga admits he and the rest of the Quins squad still also hold Richards in high regard.

When asked whether he thought Richards could return to the club, 36-year-old Fuga said: “I’d be happy with that.

“I don’t know what he has planned but you never say never. His ban is for three years so I probably wouldn’t be here of course.

“He’s someone who is well respected at the club, definitely. Some of the players are still in contact with him.

“He’s held up his hands and said, ’I was wrong’.

“Whatever has happened has happened. I think people will forget about all that’s happened, and say he’s done his time so give him another chance.”

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