Guinness Premiership
McGeechan linked with Harlequins
August 24, 2009

Former London Wasps director of rugby Ian McGeechan is being lined up by Guinness Premiership rivals Harlequins to fill the void left by Dean Richards.

McGeechan, 62, who was also in charge of the British & Irish Lions on their recent tour of South Africa, is reportedly weighing up a lucrative two-year contract to succeed Richards who resigned from the club and was subsequently banned for three years for masterminding the 'bloodgate' incident.

The Times reports that the disgraced Twickenham-based side see McGeechan, who left Wasps at the end of last season, as the ideal man to restore the club's reputation after a torrid few months that has also seen winger Tom Williams banned for four months on appeal and the club itself fined €300,000 (£260,000).

The 'bloodgate' incident saw Williams burst a fake blood capsule in his mouth with five minutes remaining in their Heineken Cup quarter-final loss to Leinster. Quins did not have a specialist kicker on the field, having replaced Nick Evans earlier in the match and then seen back-up fly-half Chris Malone carried off injured. A blood injury was the only way that Evans could return to the game.

McGeechan has an impressive coaching record that boasts Premiership, Heineken Cup and Anglo-Welsh Cup victories and has served as Scotland coach in addition to five tours with the Lions.

The Scot is due to act as an advisor with National League One side London Scottish but is understood to be tempted by a return to English rugby's top flight. McGeechan parted company with Wasps with a year remaining on his contract amid reports of disquiet about a clash between his club and Lions commitments.

McGeechan may well delay any decision until the conclusion of the investigation into Harlequins' conduct during the 'bloodgate' scandal and four other similar instances uncovered by European Rugby Cup officials. However, The Guardian reports that the club will not face further sanctions from Rugby Football Union with their investigation set to conclude that nothing would be gained in initiating what would be another lengthy inquiry.


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