Newcastle boss stokes fires ahead of showdown with Warriors

Cotswold Journal: Newcastle boss stokes fires ahead of showdown with Warriors Newcastle boss stokes fires ahead of showdown with Warriors

CONTROVERSIAL Newcastle Falcons boss Dean Richards has launched an astonishing broadside against Warriors winger David Lemi.

The outspoken former Leicester and Harlequins director of rugby branded the Samoan speedster as 'past his sell-by date'.

Speaking at a Falcons fans' forum, the ex-England number eight went on the defensive when questioned about the calibre of players he planned to recruit.

Championship big-spenders Bristol have already announced the high-profile capture of Lemi, 32, and ex-Wales scrum-half Dwayne Peel among others, but Richards did not like the inference that Falcons were being outmanoeuvred in the transfer market.

He snapped: "Lemi is how old? We will sign people who will make us competitive, and it is as simple as that.

"You want me to sign Lemi? Well, I've got news for you. He's too old, he is past his sell-by date and isn't perhaps one of the best wingers around at this moment in time.

“We will be competitive and will sign the people we think will fit in with the culture and character traits and have the ability that will add to us."

Given Warriors travel to Newcastle for an Aviva Premiership relegation showdown a week on Sunday, the timing of the comments is remarkable and will only serve to stoke the fires at Sixways.

Richards, who was infamously banned from the sport for his involvement in the 'Bloodgate' scandal while he was in charge at Harlequins, also questioned Warriors' adherence to the league's salary cap.

Talking about Falcons' recruitment, he said: "It is one of those where you could do a Worcester and throw a lot of money at it, up to and probably, in Worcester's case, over the salary cap, and not have a culture."

He then sarcastically added: "Sorry, they are probably at the salary cap. I won't spend massive amounts because, every time you do that, you invariably find yourself disappointed unless you buy loads and loads of guys at a huge cost, a little bit like Bath and Saracens and Worcester, who have stuck to the salary cap."

Richards' blunt comments could easily be used by Worcester director of rugby Dean Ryan as a motivational tool going into the biggest fortnight in the Sixways club's history.

Warriors entertain Wasps at Sixways on Friday night (7.45pm) and Ryan says it is paramount his struggling side win their first league game of the season in order to gain much-needed momentum ahead of the Kingston Park clash the following weekend.

“We know we are staring at relegation if we can’t win in Newcastle," he admitted. "We know that going there with a win from the Wasps game is a key influencer to us being successful at Kingston Park.

“Relegation pressure is different to game-winning pressure and that has sat heavy over the club all season.

“Before the season, everyone talked about Worcester, London Irish and Newcastle as the three favourites for relegation.

"We then missed beating both London Irish and Newcastle at Sixways and that has put us under pressure ever since."

Comments (9)

Please log in to enable comment sorting

7:36pm Wed 19 Mar 14

WS1991 says...

cheat.
cheat. WS1991
  • Score: 8

11:12pm Wed 19 Mar 14

Officer Nordburg says...

If I was the club I would be on the phone to lawyers suing for libel with his salary cap remark. For Dean Richards to accuse a club of cheating with what he did at Quins is rather amusing
If I was the club I would be on the phone to lawyers suing for libel with his salary cap remark. For Dean Richards to accuse a club of cheating with what he did at Quins is rather amusing Officer Nordburg
  • Score: 9

10:04am Thu 20 Mar 14

Tony1952 says...

I agree that the Club should sue him, but it would be for slander, not libel, since he spoke the words and did not write them.

At least the Warriors do not have a 'culture' of cheating - I have never seen one blood capsule at Sixways!
I agree that the Club should sue him, but it would be for slander, not libel, since he spoke the words and did not write them. At least the Warriors do not have a 'culture' of cheating - I have never seen one blood capsule at Sixways! Tony1952
  • Score: 4

2:27pm Thu 20 Mar 14

BCU Kev says...

The comments of a man still worried about relegation. Take it as a compliment from one if the biggest 'game players' in the business, Dean Ryan will be laughing at this
The comments of a man still worried about relegation. Take it as a compliment from one if the biggest 'game players' in the business, Dean Ryan will be laughing at this BCU Kev
  • Score: -2

10:39pm Thu 20 Mar 14

rugbycoach says...

Dean Richards is one of the most knowledgeable guys in Rugby. I played with him and he is an outstanding thinker in the game.He made a mistake, served his punishment and has made, under limited budget and support a good start in bringing Falcons back...nuff said,..I doubt he is too worried especially with Warriors current team. That will improve in the Championship. get real people...
Dean Richards is one of the most knowledgeable guys in Rugby. I played with him and he is an outstanding thinker in the game.He made a mistake, served his punishment and has made, under limited budget and support a good start in bringing Falcons back...nuff said,..I doubt he is too worried especially with Warriors current team. That will improve in the Championship. get real people... rugbycoach
  • Score: -4

12:13pm Fri 21 Mar 14

amvarmalc says...

Well he's right about Lemi at least - cant understand why he keeps his place in front of young guys like Stephenson etc.!
Well he's right about Lemi at least - cant understand why he keeps his place in front of young guys like Stephenson etc.! amvarmalc
  • Score: 2

12:16pm Fri 21 Mar 14

amvarmalc says...

At least he's right about Lemi - can't understand why he keeps his place above youngsters like Stephenson for instance! DL seems to kick everything anyway these days rather than backing himself for pace like he used to!
At least he's right about Lemi - can't understand why he keeps his place above youngsters like Stephenson for instance! DL seems to kick everything anyway these days rather than backing himself for pace like he used to! amvarmalc
  • Score: -1

2:26pm Fri 21 Mar 14

zx12r says...

Lose tonight, and it's all over bar the shouting. The trip to Newcastle will be but a sideshow.
Lose tonight, and it's all over bar the shouting. The trip to Newcastle will be but a sideshow. zx12r
  • Score: -1

3:23pm Tue 25 Mar 14

Raniator says...

Warriors will lose. Again. I don't think it will be much of a showdown!
Warriors will lose. Again. I don't think it will be much of a showdown! Raniator
  • Score: 1
Post a comment

Remember you are personally responsible for what you post on this site and must abide by our site terms. Do not post anything that is false, abusive or malicious. If you wish to complain, please use the ‘report this post’ link.

click2find

Get Adobe Flash player
About cookies

We want you to enjoy your visit to our website. That's why we use cookies to enhance your experience. By staying on our website you agree to our use of cookies. Find out more about the cookies we use.

I agree