Former Leicester Tigers and Harlequins chief Dean Richards has been appointed as Newcastle Falcons' new director of rugby.
The Aviva Premiership strugglers have turned to the former England international who will officially take over from the start of the 2012/13 season once his three-year coaching ban ends.
Richards was suspended for his part in the infamous 'fake blood' incident during a Quins game in the Heineken Cup back in April, 2009.
"I am delighted to get the opportunity to join Newcastle Falcons," he told the club's website.
"Whilst there was interest from other clubs, there are two reasons why I chose the Falcons - the supporters and Semore Kurdi's ambition for the club."
The Falcons are eight points from safety at the foot of the top-flight table, with games fast running out this season.
Richards won 48 caps for England between 1986 and 1996 and also appeared for the British and Irish Lions on six occasions.
He was hugely successful during a six-year spell coaching Leicester between 1998 and 2004, securing back-to-back Heineken Cups at the start of the century.