Richmond coach Damien Hardwick’s new relationship sparking turmoil

Richmond has confirmed Damien Hardwick is in a new relationship with a member of its administration staff just weeks after it was revealed he had separated from his wife, Danielle.

The Herald Sun received a statement from the club on Monday after rumours were running wild in the footy community about the long-time coach.

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“The club is aware that coach Damien Hardwick is currently in a relationship with a member of the club’s administration staff,” the statement read. “The club has no concerns with this under club policy. Beyond this, it is a private matter and we ask that privacy be respected.”

But the Herald Sun reported it has “rocked staff within the club and could affect the playing group”.

It comes after it was revealed Hardwick separated from his wife Danielle last year.

Damien Hardwick and wife Danielle at the 2017 Brownlow Medal. (Photo by Scott Barbour/Getty Images)Source:Getty Images

Often referred to by the Tigers coach as “Mrs Hardwick” in press conferences, Danielle had been by her husband’s side through an incredibly successful career in football that included flags as a player with Essendon and Port Adelaide and three more as coach of Richmond.

The Herald Sun reported Danielle spent a short amount of time in Queensland while the Tigers were based in a hub this season because of COVID’s impact in Victoria, but the reasons for their separation were unknown.

Damien and Danielle Hardwick have three children.

RELATED: How Danielle became ‘Mrs Hardwick’

Danielle was incredibly well-liked at Richmond and was referred to as the “second family” of Tigers captain Trent Cotchin and his wife Brooke in an Instagram post at Christmas.

She replied to the picture by writing: “What a special Christmas Morning. Our hearts are full. Love you Cotchins.”

A post shared by BROOKE. (@blkcotchin)

Hardwick, one of the most successful coaches of the modern era, has guided the Tigers to three premierships in the past four years, including last year’s triumph against the Cats.

After leading the Tigers to a grand final win against Geelong, the 48-year-old had flagged the personal toll the season had taken on him.

“I’m going to take a bit of a longer break this year over summer,” Hardwick told 3AW.

“It’s been a pretty full on 3-4 years and we’ve done a hell of a lot of work and had a lot of success along the way but sometimes you need to step back.”

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