Newcastle Falcons' Dean Richards aims for immediate Gallagher Premiership return
By PA Sport
Last Updated: 04/05/19 7:05pm
Dean Richards is intent on an immediate return to the Gallagher Premiership for Newcastle Falcons after their relegation was confirmed with a 28-19 defeat to Gloucester at Kingsholm.
The Falcons fought bravely throughout, but ill-discipline - yellow cards for Toby Flood and Calum Green - at a crucial stage gave Gloucester easy points and handed them the opportunity to pick up a hard-earned bonus-point victory.
Newcastle issued a statement soon after the final whistle reasserting the club's commitment to Richards and the players despite dropping into the Championship for next season, and the director of rugby echoed those sentiments.
Richards said: "We are focused on getting back up immediately next season.
"There is normally a 12 to 14-player turnaround at the end of each season and I don't see it being any different this year. I know who is going and who is staying, but I'm not able to divulge it at this stage.
"Survival in the Premiership is getting harder each year as recruitment is improving and if you want to win it, you need a huge budget."
Gloucester's tries came from Jason Woodward, Danny Cipriani, Charlie Sharples and Matt Banahan with Billy Twelvetrees converting all four.
Micky Young, Sinoti Sinoti and George McGuigan scored tries for Newcastle with Flood adding two conversions, but Richards was left to rue missed opportunities.
"The game was like the story of the season as we put our heart and soul into it, but lack of accuracy cost us two or three tries," said Richards.
"It's always tough coming down here and they are a good team with a great playmaker at 10 (Cipriani), but we did incredibly well.
"George McGuigan and Gary Graham were both outstanding and the youngsters who were drafted in didn't look out of place."