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Last Updated: Wednesday, 6 December 2006, 17:02 GMT
Richards drops hint over England
Harlequins director of rugby Dean Richards
Richards won 48 caps for England during an illustrious playing career
Dean Richards says he could be persuaded to replace former head coach Andy Robinson in the England set-up - depending on what role is on offer.

The Harlequins director of rugby has been linked with a managerial role, working with England's present coaches.

"There's no reason to move and, unless something persuaded me otherwise, I'm happy doing what I'm doing," he said.

"It depends what the job is. You'd only move if it was right and I don't know what job's available."

Richards enjoyed great success working alongside England forwards coach John Wells at Leicester, operating in a director of rugby role with Wells heading up the day-to-day coaching of players.

In addition to Wells' role with the forwards, England already have specialist coaches in Brian Ashton (attack) and Mike Ford (defence).

Former England stars Jeremy Guscott, Mike Catt, Austin Healey and Jeff Probyn have all backed the case for Richards to be offered a managerial position.

But the 43-year-old, who is contracted to Quins until June 2008, said he had not been contacted by the Rugby Football Union (RFU).

John Wells and Dean Richards
Richards (right) worked successfully with Wells at Leicester

"If there is a job, it may be that Rob Andrew may want it, I don't know," added the former England and Lions number eight.

"So, from that point of view, I haven't paid much attention and time to it. I don't read the newspapers about it because I think it is all speculation."

Richards, who made 314 appearances for Leicester as a player, guided the Tigers to two European Cups and four Premiership titles before leaving the club in 2004.

He moved to French side Grenoble for a season before joining Harlequins in 2005 following their relegation to Division One and guided them back to the Premiership in his first season.

Last month, Harlequins chief executive Mark Evans said the club would not let Richards leave the Stoop without a fight.

"I guess we'd have to deal with that hypothetical situation in the same way as we would if a club approached us about one of our players," Evans said.

"We'd discuss it. Would we stand in his way if he wanted to go? Well, we'd certainly do everything in our powers to persuade him that his future was best served on this side of the A316 in Twickenham.''

After a slow start to the Premiership season, Quins record three wins in quick succession to climb away from the foot of the table with Richards being given November's director of rugby of the month award.

Gloucester coach Dean Ryan, former England skipper Martin Johnson and South African Nick Mallett have all ruled themselves out of the reckoning.

But former Australia coach Eddie Jones has confirmed he would be interested in a potential short-term involvement up to next year's World Cup.

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