Newcastle Dean Richards has dismissed as false media reports from France that Samoan prop Logovi’i Mulipola will quit the Gallagher Premiership club at the end of the season and link up with second-tier Grenoble.
Rugby newspaper Midi Olympique reported in their Monday edition that Mulipola had signed a two-year deal with Grenoble in the Pro D2. Currently sitting in ninth out of 16 on the league table and nine points off the last of the play-off spots, there is no guarantee that they will be playing Top 14 rugby next season.
After helping Newcastle regain their Premiership status, prop Mulipola signed for Gloucester on a short-term deal last July before returning to the Falcons at the end of the 2019/20 campaign and becoming a key figure in their impressive start to the top-flight return.
Richards said: “I spoke to him yesterday [Tuesday] and he said he hasn’t signed anywhere. You know as well as I do that boys put things out there and they try either to speculate or force people hands by saying they have signed or are going to sign. I never look at the speculation and always speak to the individual. That is how I deal with it.
“You have to work out your budgets and working out what is going to happen next year is almost impossible because things change from one day to another. We are looking at the here and now with one eye on the future. You tend to look two years ahead in terms of contracts and squads.”
TRANSFER: Fan favourite Mulipola has been linked with a French switch. https://t.co/bSduxFSYMl
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) February 1, 2021
Elsewhere, the former England No8 has expressed his concern about support for young coaches, particularly with the Championship facing serious problems. London Scottish, for instance, have made it clear they will be mothballing the club in the face of financial concerns.
Fresh from Newcastle’s year in the second tier, Richards believes the Championship is key to developing young coaches but this operated by the Rugby Football Union to bring on talented coaches has stopped.
“People think that because you are a good player you will be a good coach and that is no always necessarily true. Some players have that ability and England used to have a pathway programme for coaches which is no longer there. Something should be put in place to help coaches get to the next level. The support that used to be there for young coaches is no longer there which is a shame.”
"When you don’t have games or full training then you're so bored sitting at home. I said to Dean I’m going to find some team to play for"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 19, 2021
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