Cockerill upbeat on Tait signing
June 15, 2011
Mathew Tait could be about to quit Sale for Leicester © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill remains confident that Mathew Tait will be plying his trade at Welford Road next season.
Tait agreed terms with Leicester in January and has been training with the Aviva Premiership champions since parting company with Sale Sharks last season. However, there had been speculation that the deal might collapse because of ongoing doubts surrounding the England centre's fitness.
Tait managed just three starts for the Sharks last season because he suffered a dislocated shoulder shortly after recovering from a knee operation. Cockerill, though, believes that the 25-year-old midfield ace will soon be a Leicester player.
"He has been doing his rehab for his shoulder with us," he told BBC Radio Leicester. "We're making sure that's all as it should be and I would say the likelihood is Mat will be a Tigers player next season."
Cockerill is desperate to sign a top-quality centre as Dan Hipkiss has quit the Tigers to link up with Bath. The signing of Tait is seen as a risk by some but the Leicester boss feels the player remains more than capable of fulfilling his enormous potential.
"He's a young man and I think the best is still yet to come from Mat, so we hope that this is in that environment," he said. "For whatever reason, the last 12 to 24 months haven't been the best for him but he's got a lot of experience and he is a very, very good player. We are hoping that all works out but I am pretty sure he will be with us next year."
© ESPN EMEA Ltd
"People on the outside think unfounded thoughts on Toulon." Tom Hamilton talks to RCT lock Nick Kennedy ahead of Saturday's Heineken Cup final against Clermont
Will Genia should lead the Wallabies against the Lions, Joe Tomane to win the final wing spot and Israel Folau at fullback, writes Greg Growden
"Has there ever been such a large disconnect between France's club teams and the international side?" Ian Moriarty weighs up the state of French rugby
"By carrying a Great Britain label to the Antipodes, and getting beaten by the Kiwis, they established a tradition which has lasted to this day." Huw Richards rewinds to 1888