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A closer look at new Edinburgh Rugby coach Richard Cockerill

Jimmy Booker

15 Jul 2017

At the turn of the year, Richard Cockerill was entering his 12th year as coach of Leicester Tigers, with more than six of those years as director of rugby.

However, he left Welford Road just two days into 2017, and joined up with French side Toulon as a consultant.

And to cap off a whirlwind few weeks for the former England hooker, in February he agreed to take charge of Edinburgh Rugby from the start of the coming season.

Born in Rugby, Warwickshire, Cockerill won 27 caps for England as a player – scoring three tries – and enjoyed a ten-year spell with Tigers between 1992 and 2002 where he made 250 appearances, before retiring in 2005 after returning for a final season.

After his retirement, he was appointed forwards coach at Welford Road, and went on to become head coach and finally director of rugby.

Cockerill replaces Duncan Hodge at Edinburgh Rugby, who was acting head coach for much of last season after Alan Solomons left the club in September 2016.

So, what are Edinburgh getting by snapping up the long-time Leicester stalwart?

They are certainly getting a winner, and a coach with renowned pedigree within the game.

Despite leaving ultimately Leicester, Cockerill’s achievements in the East Midlands are to be envied, and his services were coveted throughout Europe ahead of the coming season.

He won three Premiership titles with Tigers, in 2009, 2010 and 2013.

And his authority commanded consistency from his players, with Welford Road famously a difficult place to go for any team.

Leicester made the semi-finals of the Premiership in every year Cockerill was in charge. His team also won the LV Cup in 2012.

And the 46-year-old will be hoping to banish a few ghosts in the Scottish capital – his Leicester side were beaten in the 2009 Heineken Cup final by Leinster at Murrayfield.

Cockerill waxed lyrical about his forthcoming challenge with Edinburgh, and added he was excited about tackling a new league in the Guinness PRO12.

“It’s a real rugby city, and the club has a lot of potential to grow on, and off, the pitch,” said Cockerill.

“I am very much looking forward to a new challenge and the opportunity at Edinburgh Rugby ticked all the boxes.

“I’m also relishing the chance of coaching in the Guinness PRO12, which is a new league for me, and working with a clearly talented group of players.”

Managing director of Edinburgh Rugby, Jonny Petrie added: “This is an exciting period for Edinburgh Rugby.

“Richard’s arrival will bring a fresh perspective to the playing group and I’m sure our fans will be encouraged we have secured someone with his track record to take the club forward.”

In the first of our series, read about new Dragons coach Bernard Jackman