English Premiership 2009/10

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Guinness Premiership
Quins attracting plenty of offers
September 29, 2009

Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans believes that the club will not have to wait long to replace disgraced former director of rugby Dean Richards.

Richards resigned his post in August following a three-year world-wide coaching ban imposed in the wake of 'Bloodgate' and Evans has revealed that there have been several approaches from potential replacements, with an appointment possible before Christmas.

Quins are preparing for a new Heineken Cup campaign after wing Tom Williams was also banned for following orders to fake a blood injury in last year's quarter-final loss to Leinster.

"We are searching," said Evans. "We are talking to a few people. We've got our preferences, which we will keep to ourselves, and we've had quite a few approaches. I would like to think the fundamentals of the club and the way the club is progressing is an attractive proposition. I am biased, obviously.

"When you look for somebody, and they are looking at you, there is a whole host of things that goes on. How financially stable is the organisation? What's the structure? What are the facilities like? What's the academy like? There are a whole host of things that need to be weighed up.

"I would like to think we tick, maybe not all the boxes, but quite a few. Whatever structure you've got, probably more so for a provincial or club team in this part of the world, because it is such a long season and the job is becoming so much broader, it is an absolutely key appointment. We had quite a stable structure that unfortunately got blown apart for reasons people are well aware of, and that's a shame."

Quins have begun the new season under the coaching team of John Kingston, Colin Osborne and Tony Diprose, all of whom are safe in a job regardless of any new appointment.

"We have very experienced coaches," Evans said. "John has been in the game since it went professional, and before it. Technically, he's excellent, and the players like him. Colin Osborne has been at the club for 15 years, in various different roles. He's a super attack coach.

"And Tony Diprose has got a great rugby brain - he is going to be an exceptional coach. He's got a great future in the game. They all get on well, so why would we want to change that? I wouldn't be surprised if we made an announcement (rugby director) before Christmas.

"If you put your ideal person there, he would probably have experience of the English game - we've got a lot of English players. I think it is a question of knowing the game in this part of the world. I am loathe to say a name, because I know what will happen then."

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