News in Brief
Cockerill set to be confirmed as Tigers boss
The Tigers' acting head coach encourages his players during their Heineken Cup quarter-final victory over Bath on Saturday
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- Leicester Tigers have reportedly given acting head coach Richard Cockerill the job on a full-time basis with the club expected to confirm the appointment later this week.
The Leicester Mercury reports that Tigers chairman Peter Tom addressed the players in the changing room to tell them the news, minutes after the final whistle of their 20-15 Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Bath at the Walkers Stadium on Saturday.
Cockerill's appointment is regarded as just reward for his record since taking over the reins again in mid-February after former incumbent Heyneke Meyer resigned and returned to South Africa for family reasons. His tenure began with a narrow defeat at Wasps, but he has presided over a team who have won seven out of their last eight games and they top the Guinness Premiership table with two rounds of matches left.
- SANZAR officials are concerned a drop in Super 14's popularity - both in terms of TV ratings and at the turnstile - will have a detrimental affect on their bargaining power when they renegotiate their broadcasting deal.
"The TV ratings haven't fallen out of bed by any means, but they are soft and not as strong as last year," Australian Rugby Union boss John O'Neill told The Herald. "No one's ringing alarm bells, but there is a renegotiation coming up and we're not sticking our heads in the sand. Rugby is a very valuable pay TV product, especially as a lot of people only have pay TV because of the rugby. Still, clearly you would like your ratings growing, not plateauing."
SANAZR bosses are set to present their plans for Super Rugby and the Tri-Nations to broadcasters by June 30 with hopes a deal will be finalised by the end of the year.
- Waisale Serevi, widely considered world's greatest exponent of the 7-a-side game, made his final appearance as a player at the historic Melrose Sevens on Sunday.
The 40-year-old's Leeds Metropolitan University side exited the tournament in the first round but the crowd still rose to pay tribute to the legendary player. "For me, the goal was to come to Melrose and it didn't matter if I spent five minutes or a whole day on the field," said Serevi. "This is where sevens rugby started and it is part of my life because sevens has made me the person I am today."
The cup was won by Johannesburg University who beat hosts Melrose in the tournament finale.
- Bulls lock Bakkies Botha will have to wait until Tuesday to hear the result of his judicial hearing. The Springbok stalwart was cited and charged with striking Waratahs flanker Phil Waugh during the Bulls' 20-6 victory in their Super 14 clash in Sydney on Saturday.
- Celtic Rugby chiefs have praised the Magners League contingent for securing three semi-final places in this season's Heineken Cup - the first time the League has had such representation at this stage of the northern hemisphere's most prestigious competition.
Director of Celtic Rugby, David Jordan said, "Congratulations must go to all the teams for their performance over the weekend, a clear reflection of the success that Magners League teams, and their players now enjoy when they transcend into other tournaments.
"With the RBS Six Nations Trophy once more safely secured in Celtic hands, there is now all to play for to ensure that the Heineken and EDF Energy Cups will both be retained by Magners League teams. Good luck to all those taking part."
- Leicester Tigers lock Louis Deacon is likely to miss several weeks of action with medial ligament damage. The England international limped off during the 20-15 Heineken Cup quarter-final win over Bath at the Walkers Stadium on Saturday.
- The initial public allocation of 5,000 tickets for the Munster v Leinster Heineken Cup semi-final at Croke Park on Saturday, May 2, sold out within 30 minutes.
Munster and Leinster will receive an allocation of approximately 30,000 tickets each which they will distribute through their normal channels. There are approximately 10,000 tickets available to purchase for Croke Park premium seat and corporate suite holders. An additional 1,500 tickets will be sold with official hospitality packages and the remaining tickets will be allocated to European club rugby stake holders and partners.