The sacking of Richard Cockerill as Director of Rugby at the Leicester Tigers didn’t come as too much of a surprise to most observers.
Cockerill had been under pressure for some time, and reports of a possible heave against him began to circulate after the Tigers’ 38-0 defeat at the hands of Munster in the European Rugby Champions Cup. Although Leicester’s defeat to Saracens last weekend proved to be the last straw, the 46 year-old had all but lost the dressing room according to Chris Foy in the Daily Mail.
Sources told Foy that Cockerill had been ousted from his position after “what amounted to a player coup, with senior members of the squad informing the board that it was high time for a change”.
Foy also reported that the relationship between Cockerill and Aaron Mauger had completely broken down, after the ex-All Black made it clear that he could no longer work with Leicester’s former Director of Rugby.
Indeed, after the Tigers’ defeat at the hands of Wasps earlier this season, Mauger stopped Cockerill mid-rant and asked him to leave the dressing room. Nevertheless, Mauger will not be handed the role on a full time basis unless he can drastically improve the Tigers form in the coming months.
Instead the Tigers board are thought to favour appointing Geordan Murphy, and building an entirely new coaching line-up around the former Irish fullback.
Although Murphy might be an ideal candidate to take the club in a new direction, the 38 year-old lacks any real top level coaching experience.
We review the festive fixtures and look back on 2016 – The Year That Was