Aviva Premiership
Cockerill plays down impact of ban
ESPN Staff
July 24, 2013
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill remonstrates with the officials on the touchline, Leicester Tigers v Northampton Saints, Aviva Premiership Final, Twickenham, May 25, 2013
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill's appeal against the his recent nine match ban - not the guilty verdict - will be heard on Monday © Getty Images
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Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill has played down the impact his recent ban will have on the Tigers' start to the new season.

Cockerill was handed a nine-match suspension earlier this month after being found guilty of using words that were "obscene, inappropriate and unprofessional" in an exchange with fourth official Stuart Terheege during Leicester's Aviva Premiership Final victory over Northampton in May.

The 42-year-old has accepted the guilty verdict but is appealing the severity of the sanction, with a further hearing scheduled for Monday, but even if he fails in his bid to have the ban reduced, Cockerill is confident his side will cope without him.

"We will just get on with it, work hard and I'm not overly concerned about it," Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester. "I don't got out there and play. I am not scrummaging, kicking the goals or affecting the play. We have coped with it [Cockerill being suspended] before so I am sure we will be fine again."

Cockerill has also backed his support staff - assistant coaches Paul Burke, Richard Blaze and Geordan Murphy to shoulder the extra responsibility. "My job is to worry about coaching the side and get everything prepped here," he added. "As it stands I will miss the first nine games of the season but we have good coaches and the reality is most, if not all, of the prep is done during the week.

"On matchdays the players will take the lead. We have some very experienced players who have played a lot of Test match rugby, and a lot of rugby here in lots of big games...Will it affect us or not? I don't know. But we will just get on with it."

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