So Dean Richards is back after a three-year exile from the game for his major part in the Bloodgate scandal that rocked English domestic rugby.
The former Leicester and England number eight, who became the most successful Director of Rugby in the history of the professional game when he led the Tigers to four successive Premiership titles and back to back Heineken Cup triumphs, undid much of his good work by being the leading figure behind the fake blood scandal that created a dark cloud over rugby and, in particular Harlequins, where he was DOR four years' ago until banned for the game.
Quins, the current champions, have finally moved on. Now it is time for Richards to do the same. I declare a personal interest here. It was Richards who agreed to let me join the Tigers for a week in 2000, culminating in a 15-minute cameo appearance in a pre-season friendly against Ulster.
He is an amusing, driven man who earned iconic status as a Leicester and England player, and he is, quite clearly, both ambitious and knows how to win. He will probably never quite work out what possessed him to become involved in such murky practices, but has said all the right things since.
As everyone in club rugby knows, a lot of teams were up to the very same practices that Quins under Richards was. This does not excuse Richards a jot. He was caught and he had to pay the penalty.
For me three years was about right although Richards, with some justification, harboured a grievance that the rest of the club game judged him on something many others were up to as well. All that is gone and Richards, it seems, is looking ahead, not back.
In taking over the helm at the Newcastle Falcons he joins up with his former Leicester playing and coaching colleague John Wells, the pair that brought so much silverware to the Tigers. Moreover, with the Falcons replaced by London Welsh in the Premiership, he has a year slightly under the radar in the Championship. He also has previous in this department. When Quins were relegated Richards took over, brought them straight back into the top flight, and laid the foundations for their success today.
The Falcons have been flirting with the drop for years. A year in a lower league will sort them out, and I expect Richards to take a new-look Newcastle straight back to the Premiership, much the better for the experience, which is precisely what happened both with Quins and, before them, Northampton. It is, despite the setback in May, exciting times for the Falcons and for Richards, he has, as he says, served his time. He has shown genuine remorse. Now it is time for us all to move on, to forgive but not to forget the lessons learnt from Bloodgate.
As for Deano, the man whose name was chanted from the Welford Road terraces and remains, to this day, the most popular player ever to don the famous Tigers jersey, I wish him well.