Leicester Tigers: Richard Cockerill wants head coach to ease burden

Matt O'Connor and Richard Cockerill (right)
Matt O'Connor (left) was part of the Tigers coaching set-up for five years before his departure in 2013

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill has said Leicester will appoint a new head coach in the summer to bring fresh "impetus" and help fill the void left by Matt O'Connor's departure.

O'Connor left Tigers to take over at Leinster in May 2013 and backs coach Paul Burke also moved on last month as part of a coaching restructure.

Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester: "We need new ideas and a new impetus.

"Some of the backs are world-class players but they need to be stretched."

Cockerill, who added Geordan Murphy to the backroom staff last summer, continued: "They need someone with a coaching CV and a presence to do that.

Richard Cockerill on the new recruit
"I would like an experienced person - as Matt was. I think we need to move our game on a bit. I want to keep everything that is the fabric of Leicester Tigers but you want to be open to new ideas."

"I am not a backs coach and Geordan is very inexperienced, but his potential is huge. We need someone to come in with new ideas on our attack and our skills.

"We will look for a similar head coach to how I worked with Matt."

An injury-ravaged Tigers side have struggled in the Premiership this season and are ninth in the table with just three wins from seven league matches.

Cockerill said the time pressures on him - off the pitch as well as on it - meant he needed assistance.

"There is so much for me to do away from the pitch as well," he explained.

"Sometimes you get spread very thinly with managing players and staff, and recruitment and lot of other things, as well as trying to coach and run the team.

"I would like an experienced person - as Matt was. I think we need to move our game on a bit. We had a very good run with Matt but that needs to change because Matt is not here any more.

Richard Cockerill (right) trudges off at half-time of his side's 45-0 defeat against Bath
The 45-0 loss to Bath at The Rec was Leicester Tigers' heaviest-ever defeat in the Premiership

"I want to keep everything that is the fabric of Leicester Tigers but you want to be open to new ideas. Sometimes that comes from within, sometimes from an external influence.

"We need to keep our identity, but I am very aware of what I am not good at and what we need from a coaching skills-set point of view. We have some very good people in the environment and it's making it work.

"Ultimately, I am in change - someone has to make the make the final call and take the blame, and that's me - but we work together.

"Lots of people would be interested. We are a big club and this is a big job. To be a head coach of this team is not easy. To come in with new ideas is not easy, but we need to get the right fit."

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