Cockerill eyes a double treble

Leicester’s hunt for an unprecedented treble has dominated the headlines in recent weeks, but there are a couple of Tigers who can seal an even more illustrious hat-trick at Twickenham on Sunday.

Former England hooker Richard Cockerill is one of them. The current forwards coach was part of the Leicester team which won back-to-back Heineken Cups in 2001 and 2002 and he believes the current crop of Tigers are in with a chance of going one better this season.

Indeed, he even offered a fleeting comparison between the class of 2007 and the team captained by Martin Johnson and coached by Dean Richards.

“It is just getting the players minds focused into not thinking about the ‘what ifs’,” he said.

“Let us just do our jobs, get on with it and let us worry about thinking how good we are after the event which is an attitude that has served us well in the past.

“The team I was involved in did not think about the glory, they just thought about playing and hopefully this team has the same mentality.”

Leicester have already pocketed the EDF Energy Cup and the Guinness Premiership title, dispatching all-comers with consummate easy.

But far from feeling war-torn, Cockerill believes the club’s punishing schedule has kept his troops on the boil.

“That momentum has built and we have built the belief that we can win all three, so if we win then this team will live in the history of this club for ever – so it is huge,” he said.

“We just have to think about playing, because every game is a big game. It has built over the season and has built on some big results.

“Winning away at Wasps with a virtual second team during the international season was a big boost for us, Thomond Park, obviously Stade Francais, Ospreys in the EDF final, beating Llanelli in the semis who were the form team of the Heineken Cup.

“This is where we wanted to be. We have a few injuries which is not ideal but it just a question of keeping them as fresh as possible and turning up with cup final mentality.

“The pressure is high but we have put that on ourselves all year so it is small margins. If our guys play at their best on the big occasion we have every chance of doing it but if they are two to three per cent off it could be different.”


365 Digital

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