Details Emerge Regarding Richard Cockerill’s Sacking & They Make For Interesting Reading
Leicester yesterday sacked director of rugby Richard Cockerill, with head coach Aaron Mauger taking “interim charge” at Welford Road.
The Tigers have dropped out of the Aviva Premiership’s play-off berths after consecutive defeats to Exeter and Saracens, following closely from the record 38-0 European defeat at the hands of Munster.
Former England hooker Cockerill has coached at Leicester since 2004 and took the full reins as rugby director in 2010. Leicester’s 16-12 defeat to Saracens at Welford Road on New Year’s Day proved the final straw for the Tigers board, who have moved swiftly to unseat their former front-rower Cockerill.
Details have now emerged revealing that Leicester began searching for a new coach midway through last month, long before Monday’s confirmation that Richard Cockerill had been sacked to end a 24-year association with the club.
A month before Leicester’s shocking 38-0 loss to Munster, Cockerill had a meeting with club chairman Peter Tom, in which he was given an ultimatum to turn a corner before Christmas or his time would be up.
Cockerill’s relationship with Aaron Mauger was said to have soured also, with the Daily Mail revealing an incident that occured between the two, following their recent defeat to Wasps.
It is understood that Mauger, an ex-All Black and former Leicester centre, made it known that he was unable to work with Cockerill. One source claimed that after defeat against Wasps at Welford Road in September, Cockerill was in the midst of a post-match rant in the dressing room when Mauger, who favours a more softly-softly approach, asked him to leave.
The player’s are also said to have turned their backs on Cockerill, instead siding with the former All Blacks centre.
Among the players, there had been a growing realisation that the status quo could not survive. It is thought that there are many members of the Leicester squad who have been aligned with Cockerill and others more inclined to side with Mauger in what became a clash of cultures.
Were Leicester right to sack Cockerill? Who do you think would be a good fit for the now vacant role?