FORMER England international scrum-half Peter Richards is the new head coach at London Scottish.
Having joined the Exiles last summer as backs coach, the 37-year-old will work alongside another former England player, Tim Payne, who has been confirmed as the club’s full-time forwards coach
Richards played a major role in helping Scottish achieve their most successful season in more than 16 years as they sealed third place in the Greene King IPA Championship with two rounds of the regular 2014-15 season to go, which secured their place in the end of season play-offs for the first time.
Richards enjoyed a highly decorated playing career, winning the Heineken Cup and the Premiership (twice) at Wasps, as well as the European Challenge Cup at Gloucester, and won 13 international caps. He played in all of England’s 2007 World Cup matches, including the final.
He retired from playing in 2010, beginning his coaching career working with the Israeli national sevens squad and Esher before moving to London Irish as first-team skills coach and heading up their academy.
“London Scottish is a great club which is going in the right direction and I am delighted to have been appointed head coach,” said Richards.
“This past season has been a huge learning experience for me and we have enjoyed tremendous success in the Championship.
“Both Tim and I want to continue to build on the momentum from last season, but there are still many areas of our game which can improve. I’m already looking forward to cracking on with pre-season next month.”
Payne, 36, is a former British & Irish Lion who won 22 caps for England. He spent most of his club career at Wasps, winning three Premiership titles, two Heineken Cup crowns and the Powergen Cup.
Payne said: “This is a fantastic opportunity and I’ve thoroughly enjoyed my time at the club so far, working with Peter and a great squad of players.
“It will be a difficult task to replicate what we did last season but I’m confident we can achieve similar success again.”
Incoming chief executive, Rod Lynch, said: “Peter and Tim are young, highly-rated and ambitious coaches and I’m really pleased they have both decided to commit their futures to London Scottish. They have vast experience from playing at the top level of the game and I look forward to working closely with them next season.
“The club has achieved many great things over the past number of years and I’m confident Tim and Peter are the ideal coaching duo to move us forward again next year.”