Aviva Premiership: Upheld ban irks Tigers

director of rugby Richard Cockeril Leicester Tigers

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Leicester Tigers admitted they are still “disappointed” with director of rugby Richard Cockerill’s nine-match ban despite getting a positive result ahead of new Aviva Premiership season.

The English champions were set to be without Cockerill until November 3 after he was given a lengthy ban for his conduct in Leicester’s Grand Final win over Northampton Saints at Twickenham last season.

However, on appeal the ban has been brought forward which means pre-season friendlies against the likes of Jersey and Ulster will be counted, although an encounter with Top 14 outfit Montpellier appears to have been overlooked.

The new punishment means Cockerill will be back in the dugout for the Tigers on October 18 just after their Heineken Cup encounter with Treviso.

A statement from the club read: “We are pleased that the judgment vindicated our decision to appeal and we are grateful to the panel for the consideration that they showed, although we await with interest the written judgment to see why they pre-season game against Montpellier falls into a different than those against Jersey and Ulster.

“We remain disappointed with the RFU’s conduct in this matter but, as we have previously stated, this is a matter we shall pursue privately.

“The focus now is on the remainder of our pre-season and our preparations for the start of the new season.”

Leicester start the defence of their Premiership crown when they host Worcester Warriors at Welford Road on September 8 but Cockerill will be unable to be involved in the action on game day.

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