Aviva Premiership
'This Leicester squad is the best we've ever had'
ESPN Staff
July 17, 2014
Leonardo Ghiraldini will bolster Leicester's options at hooker © Getty Images

Leicester Tigers lock Louis Deacon has praised the club's strength in depth labelling the current squad "the best we've ever had".

Deacon has played for 14 season at the Tigers and despite having experienced their spell of dominance in the noughties, he has lauded the current crop of players and the signings made by Richard Cockerill.

The Tigers have brought in seven players in the off-season with Leonardo Ghiraldini, Michele Rizzo and Robert Barbieri arriving from Italy while Freddie Burns comes into the squad as a like-for-like replacement for Toulouse's Toby Flood. They have also added Seremaia Bai, Christian Loamanu and Aniseko Sio and Deacon is optimistic of the Tigers' chances.

"It's something we probably say every year, that it's the best squad we've ever had, but this year I think it is," Deacon told the Leicester Mercury. "We have got numerous players in each position, we have made some very good signings - internationals, big physical players.

"Hopefully, that will enable us to kick on to the next level, providing we don't have the problems we had last year with injuries. Those extra guys will enable us to push on all fronts."

With last season's skipper Flood now in the Top 14, Deacon's second-row partner Ed Slater is the favourite for the captaincy, according to coach Richard Cockerill.

"Obviously, Ed Slater is in the box seat for that," said Cockerill. "He has just become a father, so he has got other things on his hands at the moment. I will sit with the core of the leadership group and have that discussion.

"We will see. At this point, if I was a betting man, which I'm not, Ed may well get that. But we will see where he is at and where some of the other candidates are as well."

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