Ugo Monye has urged the game not to forget what Dean Richards has done for English rugby despite the furore over the 'Bloodgate' controversy.
The European Rugby Cup have published further details of last month’s appeal hearing, which handed Richards a three-year ban for being the “directing mind” of the scandal.
Richards is considered one of England’s greatest players - he won 48 red rose caps and played six Tests for the Lions - and he boasts an incomparable record as a director of rugby.
He guided Leicester to four consecutive league titles and back-to-back Heineken Cup triumphs before leading Harlequins from the first division into Europe.
Richards also elevated the likes of Monye, Nick Easter, David Strettle, Mike Brown, Chris Robshaw and Jordan Turner-Hall into the England squad.
Speaking today, shortly before the ERC published the latest revelations, Monye said: “What he has done at the club is truly admirable, not just at our club but in rugby in general. He’s helped me personally in my career.
“Dean turned up at the club when we were relegated and within four years, we finished second (in the Guinness Premiership) and reached the Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
“These are places this club has never been. He’s left a legacy at this club that will last a long, long time. We are sad to see what’s happened but whatever decision he made, he did in the best interests of the club.
“It is sad and disappointing, but you move on.”
Monye was speaking at a Help for Heroes rugby day at Sandhurst Military College, where a number of Premiership stars were drilled in marksmanship.
The event was set up to promote a new Help for Heroes calendar, which features the likes of Monye and was the brainchild of new London Irish signing Ryan Lamb.