Aviva Premiership
Cockerill signs new five-year Tigers deal
ESPN Staff
October 4, 2013
Richard Cockerill will be staying in charge of the Tigers © Getty Images

Leicester Tigers have announced director of rugby Richard Cockerill has signed a new five-year deal.

Rugby according to Cockerill

  • "If people want to be that small-minded, then I say ban me and b******s to you." - On his ban
  • "Maybe it would help if I was a foot taller, had hair and didn't look like a pitbull." - On his reputation
  • "They came to cheat and chuck the ball around" - On London Irish's approach to their Premiership clash at Welford Road
  • "I can tell you absolutely nothing about him. I have not spoken to him, his agent, his mother or his grandmother" - On reports linking his club with a move for Biarritz prop Wicus Blaauw
  • "Whether that is cleaning your plates up after you have eaten your food or opening doors for members of staff, all of those bits are important and make this club what it is." - On Dan Bowden's former side London Irish.

Cockerill has held the reins at the Tigers since January 2009 when he stepped into the void left by now Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer. Under his tenure, he has led the team to three Aviva Premiership titles and with two years left on his current deal, the Tigers have moved quickly to tie down their man.

'Cockers' is one of Leicester's favourite sons having played 262 for the Tigers and then joined the coaching staff. The former England hooker has never been one to shirk from confrontation when it comes to protecting his players and is currently serving a nine-game suspension for his verbal outburst during the Premiership final.

And the Tigers are clearly delighted with the man who led the team to the Heineken Cup final in 2009 with Leicester chairman Peter Tom saying: "Cockers played for the club and is very much part of the Tigers family. He knows all about the Tigers culture and how to be successful here both as a player and a coach.

"Stability and continuity are extremely important in any successful organisation and, given the challenges of player availability, injury, selection, recruitment and the general ups and downs of professional sport, we see him as the man to continue to drive the team forward."

Cockerill was linked with the now filled Clermont post - he played for Montferrand for two years in the midst of his 13-year playing association with Leicester - but is delighted to be staying at Welford Road.

"This club has been a huge part of my life for a long time now and it is a unique place in professional club rugby," Cockerill said. "I am very passionate about the Tigers and in wanting to continue the club's success.

"We talk a lot with the players and staff about loyalty and commitment to the club, and that is something I feel strongly about too so I'm very happy to be able to agree a new contract here.

"Everyone here wants to be the best they can possibly be and we drive each other on. There is fantastic support for the team wherever we play, we have top-class players, a strong coaching team and very good backroom staff who all work very hard for the greater good of the club. This is a tough environment but it is one that brings out the best in its people."

The news will come as a welcome boost to the Tigers who host Northampton Saints this weekend in the first East Midlands derby of the season.

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