Tigers stand firm on Dupuy
May 11, 2009
Julien Dupuy's future at Leicester is still unclear © Getty Images
Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has sounded a warning to Stade Francais as the Parisian club continue their pursuit of scrum-half Julien Dupuy. Dupuy has one year left on his Tigers contract and despite keeping British and Irish Lions scrum-half Harry Ellis on the sidelines in recent weeks personal issues have thrown his future in to doubt.
"Stade would like to buy Julien out of his contract," said Cockerill. "If we could find a suitable replacement that would be an option but if not then he will stay here. We're a big club and will not get rolled over. His girlfriend wants to be in France and Julien wants to be here playing rugby for us. It's a personal not rugby issue."
Dupuy has blossomed this season at the Tigers, with his match-winning try against Bath in the Heineken Cup quarter-final a highlight of an excellent season. His flair and goal-kicking ability have kept Ellis on the bench for the Heineken Cup semi-final win over Cardiff and Premiership semi-final win over Bath, and he is set to take the No.9 jersey for Saturday's Premiership final against London Irish at Twickenham.
"It's not ideal," continued Cockerill. "He signed a two-year deal and was second choice at Biarritz when he arrived. We honour our contracts and sometimes players have to do the same. He understands that - it's not a heated discussion we're having.
"Why let your best players leave when you don't have to? We're looking at someone to replace Julien but who's as good he is and is available? I'm not trying to protect Harry (ahead of the Lions tour) - he wants to play. My only concern is what happens at Leicester."
Cockerill has also been hard-nosed in leaving Martin Corry out of the matchday 22 in recent weeks, maintaining that despite his legendary status at Leicester he could not justify a sentimental selection as Corry heads in to retirement at the end-of-the-season.
"Martin has been massive for us, giving over a decade of service," he said. "He's been in every major competition, led the team and has been an icon for England. He will be considered alongside the Dean Richards and Martin Johnsons of this club and will be part of our history forever. It's just so disappointing that his body has finally given up but his mind is still willing.
"It's difficult to tell your club captain he's not in the 22 because his body has given up the ghost. I'd love him to play and lift silverware because it would be the right way for him to go but sentiment can't be part of it and he knows that."
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