Tigers in the market for a flanker
July 11, 2012
Richard Cockerill could turn to Brett Deacon (right) to strengthen his back-row © Getty Images
Leicester Tigers boss Richard Cockerill has revealed that he is looking to bring in another back-rower ahead of the start of the new Aviva Premiership season.
England flanker Tom Croft is likely to miss the first month of the new campaign with a neck injury while Craig Newby is also set to miss their season opener against London Welsh on September 2.
The end of last season saw a wealth of players left without contracts - individuals such as Tom Voyce, Richard Haughton and Ollie Phillips are currently unattached - and Cockerill is likely to tap into that market. One player who may be on his radar is Brett Deacon but Cockerill admits that there are many other options other than the ex-Tigers back-row.
"We are looking at the back row because Croft has a long-standing injury and Newby has had surgery on his knee and will probably miss the start of the season too," Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury. "It's just a case of wear and tear on Craig's knee and it's not the one he had surgery on last summer.
"Jordan Crane has had a long-term (knee) injury and we hope that will be a smooth transition back to fitness with no problems. But he has had surgery, so we have to be careful.
"As a result of all that, we are looking at those positions to see what is out there. Brett Deacon is on the market but there are 160 players who have not got contracts professionally, so there are a lot of people looking for employment. We are looking at lots of back-rowers and Brett is one of those.
"He has played a lot of Aviva Premiership rugby and knows us very well. It's just whether he is the right fit for us and whether that is what he wants to do. At the moment, he is just one of several players we are looking at."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Jim Mallinder and Justin Burnell were sat on the same top table, but in different circumstances. Tom Hamilton reports on the Aviva Premiership season launch
Tom Hamilton reports back from the launch of the Guinness PRO12 where there is a renewed sense of optimism with all of the off-field changes to the league
So much for the great Australian revival, writes Greg Growden. It now has the potential of going off the rails after the capitulation at Eden Park
The latest Week in Pictures takes in photographs from the Rugby Championship, the Top 14 and the southern hemisphere domestic scene