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Richards fuming at ECPR


'If they're not bothered by player welfare, so be it' - Richards fuming at ECPR over prop debacle

Dean Richards is fuming at the EPCR after he says he was effectively forced to play a loosehead at tighthead, potentially putting a player at risk of injury.

Newcastle Falcons ultimately lost to Edinburgh, falling to a 31-13 defeat in Murrayfield.

Prior to the game, the Falcons had three tight-head injuries within 24 hours, and with Jon Welsh, Craig Mitchell and Paul Mullen all also unavailable, they had no tight-head cover. Up until yesterday, they were in dialogue the EPCR to try and resolve the issue, but the organizing body ultimately didn’t budge.

Before and indeed after the match, Richards was fuming:

“You lose three tighthead props in 24 hours, you ask for dispensation to bring in another one and you’re not allowed that so you have to play a loosehead on the tight.

“It’s not like playing a left wing on the right wing or an inside centre at outside centre. There is a safety issue there and they weren’t prepared to address it so I was particularly disappointed with it.”

“For the integrity of the game and the competition the boys said ‘Look we’ll give it a go’, and to be fair to them they stuck at it,” he said.

Richards argued that they were extenuating circumstances and in an interview before the match said: “If they’re (the ECPR) not bothered by player welfare, so be it”.

“We lost a load of guys to head knocks last weekend including Kyle Cooper, Sean Robinson broke his arm again during the game, Mark Wilson has an ear infection, Nemani Nagusa has a leg problem, then we have Michael Young out with a fractured cheek bone. Our captain Will Welch is out long term with an ankle, Jon Welsh is out for a while, Will Witty has injured his knee, Josh Matavesi is out with an ankle, Joel Hodgson has broken a leg and Tom Penny is out with an ACL – you get the idea, and then we have a few other guys who are not registered for Europe due to the tournament regulations.”

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'If they're not bothered by player welfare, so be it' - Richards fuming at ECPR over prop debacle
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