Toulon swoop to add Richard Cockerill to coaching staff

Mike Ford recruits Cockerill days after he is sacked as Leicester’s Director of Rugby

Richard Cockerill has joined the coaching staff at Toulon days after being sacked by Leicester Tigers. Photograph:  PA/David Davies

Richard Cockerill has joined the coaching staff at Toulon days after being sacked by Leicester Tigers. Photograph: PA/David Davies

 

Richard Cockerill has joined three-time European Cup winners Toulon’s coaching staff, just four days after being sacked by Leicester Tigers.

The former England hooker has joined the Top 14 giants on a deal to run until the end of the season, at the request of head coach Mike Ford.

Leicester sacked Cockerill on Monday, bringing to an end a six-year stint as rugby director at Welford Road.

Former Bath boss Ford has moved quickly to secure Cockerill’s services, despite Leicester’s board axing the 46-year-old to seek a fresh coaching figurehead.

“At the request of our manager Mike Ford and with the agreement of all the staff of the Rugby Club Toulon, Richard Cockerill will reinforce the staff of the first team of the club in the coming days as a rugby consultant until the end of the season,” read a statement from Toulon.

“Richard Cockerill, who coached the Leicester Tigers from 2005 to January 2017 as the forwards coach and then as the senior coach, will work under the authority of Mike Ford and in co-operation with forwards coach Marc Dal Maso and skills coach Steve Meehan. ”

Toulon sit sixth in the Top 14 table and Ford has seized the chance to bring in Cockerill, in a bid to drive the Cote d’Azur club up the standings in France.

Taskmaster owner Mourad Boudjellal will expect a higher league position from his side, and Ford will hope Cockerill can add a renewed impetus to their campaign.

Leicester have installed head coach Aaron Mauger in “interim charge” at Welford Road until the end of the season while they hunt a new director of rugby.

Former England bosses Stuart Lancaster and Martin Johnson are in the frame to take the Leicester helm, while ex-South Africa chief Heyneke Meyer is also in the running.

England’s current head coach Eddie Jones earlier this week refused to rule out adding Cockerill to his backroom staff, and immediate demand for the former Leicester front-rower’s services have now yielded this Toulon switch.

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