Fixtures - Top Bar

Richard Cockerill eyeing up Racing 92 recovery for Leicester Tigers

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill insists he is relishing an early rematch with Racing Metro in the European Champions Cup after the French side denied his team a place in last year’s final.

Racing beat the Tigers 19-16 in last year’s semi-final at the City Ground in Nottingham, and the teams will meet again in the second round of Pool 1 matches in this season’s competition.

Cockerill’s men will travel to Glasgow Warriors to kick off their campaign before welcoming Racing back to the East Midlands and face Munster in the back-to-back games near Christmas.

And Leicester’s director of rugby is excited by the prospect of another huge European occasion at Welford Road this season and a rematch against Kiwi fly-half Dan Carter.

“We’ve got big games in the pool stages, we entertain Racing second game at home that’ll be a huge European day at Welford Road. That’s massively important for the club and that’s what we’re about,” Cockerill said.

“Dan Carter and his team of stellar players will arrive and working class Leicester will do their best and see where they get to. It’s great to play Racing because it’s a different flavour, world class players and it’s a real test.

“Leicester is about big days in the office, we’ve had a lot in the last 20 years and that (last year’s semi-final) was one of them.

“Against Racing it was a close game; in those big games you have to make sure all the little margins go your way and last year we weren’t quite good enough to do that.”

Leicester Tigers journey to the semi-final was their best run in the European competition in recent years after they topped a group containing Stade Francais, Munster and Benetton Treviso.

It earned them a first quarter-final at Welford Road since 2007 and Cockerill believes the importance of earning a home semi-final cannot be under-estimated.

“Getting a home quarter-final is key; it gives you the best opportunity to get to the semi-final and on the big occasion you have to get it right,” he added.

“Europe’s different; you have a different mindset you get away from the Premiership and you go to different environments you don’t normally play in.

“We’ll go to Glasgow Warriors, an artificial pitch, I’ve never played there before, and I’ve been here quite a long time, it’s new for a lot of us and that’s good.

“I think it’s great for the club, great for the players, a different mindset away from the Premiership and different expectations.”

European Professional Club Rugby (EPCR) is the organiser of the European Rugby Champions Cup, the European Rugby Challenge Cup and the Challenge Cup Qualifying Competition. Follow all the excitement of another thrilling season of European action at www.epcrugby.com

Latest News

Aviva Premiership Rugby Weekend Round-up

Christian Wade made the difference, according to director of rugby Dai Young, as Wasps booked their place in the Aviva…

Match Reaction: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps director of rugby Dai Young has urged improvement from his side after they were given a scare by Worcester Warriors on…

Match Reaction: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Brad Barritt believes Saracens’ desire not to take their foot off the pedal proved the decisive factor as an eight-try…

Match Report: Saracens 53 Bath Rugby 10

Chris Ashton scored twice to become the record scorer at Allianz Park as Saracens enjoyed a fruitful afternoon to keep…

Match Report: Wasps 40 Worcester Warriors 33

Wasps extended their advantage at the top of Aviva Premiership Rugby with a hard-fought victory over Worcester Warriors in an…

Match Reaction: Exeter Chiefs 30 Sale Sharks 25

His side may have gone level on points with Wasps atop the Aviva Premiership Rugby table, but Exeter Chiefs coach…

Match Reaction: Northampton Saints 31 Leicester Tigers 36

Leicester Tigers sent off Aaron Mauger in fine style with a thrilling win at Franklin’s Gardens and Geordan Murphy believed it…

Match Reaction: Harlequins 53 Newcastle Falcons 17

Returning England stars Mike Brown, Danny Care and Marland Yarde may have shone for Harlequins in their 53-17 victory over…