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Richardson Awaits His Fate

Coventry Rugby Club logoKeith Richardson, Coventry’s director of rugby, will learn his fate early next week.

In an unprecedented move the club’s chairman Keith Fairbrother asked Richardson to ‘stand down’ 24 hours before last Saturday’s match against Exeter.

Fairbrother was unhappy with the manner of the team’s performance in losing the previous games against Orrell and Leeds.

He was vindicated in his action, when, despite arctic conditions of gale force winds driving sleet and rain horizontally, the team beat Exeter 42–33.

Some within the Coundon Road club believed Richardson was stifling the team’s attacking capabilities for the sake of a stereotyped, bump and ruck style.

Speaking from Heathrow Airport before flying to New York for a week on business Fairbrother said: 

"The matter will be resolved when I return.

"As for the Exeter match, the team produced a pulsating, entertaining 75 point thriller in appalling playing conditions.

"I told them before the match that they had to remember they are in show business. The supporters want to see winning rugby which is entertaining."

"I told them they had been playing like a plodding boxer with no variation in his tactics. I said they should be more like Muhammed Ali."

Richardson learned the match result at his home near Gloucester and though it is possible his job will still be there at Coventry, perhaps in some modified form, the consensus in the club is that he will make the break.

He is still coach to England’s under-21 team and probably feels his future lies within the international set up.

He was appointed director of rugby at Coventry in succession to Derek Eves, the Bristolian, who by force of personality and compelling performances on the pitch, led the club out of the Third Division and into the Second Division play-offs in just three years.

But Coventry suffered financially and the receiver was called in, at which point Fairbrother, together with other businessmen, stepped in to buy the club. Coventry are now in the process of trying to finance a new ground at The Butts having sold Coundon Road to housing developers.

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CWN / Sport / Rugby / Coventry RFC / 7 Dec 99

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