Aviva Premiership
Cockerill confirms Thorpe deal
ESPN Staff
August 8, 2012
London Irish's Richard Thorpe drives forward against Northampton, London Irish v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership, Madejski Stadium, Reading, England, April 23, 2011
Richard Thorpe will be in Leicester colours next season © Getty Images
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Players/Officials: Richard Cockerill | Richard Thorpe
Tournaments/Tours: Aviva Premiership

Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has confirmed that his side have recruited back-row Richard Thorpe.

Thorpe was turning out for London Irish last term, where he made 135 appearances, and with the Tigers struggling with some injuries in the back-row ahead of next season, Cockerill has acted quickly to bolster his resources. Thorpe follows in the footsteps of Brett Deacon in signing for the East Midlands side and is likely to be thrown straight into the action this Saturday when the Tigers face Jersey.

"Richard Thorpe has signed with us until the end of this season," Cockerill confirmed to the Leicester Mercury. "We came to agreement with London Irish who have paid some of his salary for this year.

"That gives us a quality player who has played a lot of Premiership rugby and will slot straight into the squad. It is a move that is very cost effective for us."

With Tom Croft set to miss the start of the season and Craig Newby and Ben Woods both having setbacks in their rehabilitation from their respective injuries, Thorpe may well start the season in the first XV.

"Injury-wise, we have a few niggles and we have a few issues with Craig Newby," Cockerill said. "Ben Woods has a problem with his wrist which isn't settling too well either. As a result, we need cover. At the start of the season, it's not so much of an issue for us.

"But you go into the autumn internationals and we could be missing 10 or 12 blokes with England and the other nations like Fiji, Samoa and Italy all playing."

Thorpe originally announced the transfer on his Twitter account 12 days ago but he quickly removed the post. Thorpe jumping the gun would have unimpressed Cockerill and the Tigers boss has emphasised that it will be the last time that it happens.

"He [Thorpe] will not be using Twitter to be discussing any of those things anymore," said Cockerill. "If he didn't know beforehand, he certainly knows about it now."

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