Cockerill's nine-match ban appeal fails
July 29, 2013
Richard Cockerill remonstrates with the officials during the Aviva Premiership final © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers coach Richard Cockerill has failed in his appeal against the nine-match ban handed to him by the Rugby Football Union but he has succeeded in getting the suspension brought forward so it includes two pre-season games.
The Tigers boss was hit with the lengthy suspension 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.
Cockerill accepted the guilty verdict but appealed the severity of the sanction. His hearing was heard on Monday evening and while the panel opted to keep his suspension at nine matches, he will now be back free to coach Leicester again on October 18 whereas before he was suspended until November 3.
The decision to bring it forward sees him miss pre-season friendlies against Ulster and Jersey but he will return to the Tigers hotseat for their match against Wasps on October 27.
Cockerill has previously spoken of his suspension and he has played down any notion that it will impact on his team's form on the field.
"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.
"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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