Richard Cockerill: Leicester Tigers must 'show backbone' after injuries

Cockerill says Tigers must front up

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill admits the resolve of his side will be tested by the Tigers' growing injury crisis.

England hooker Tom Youngs (shoulder), international team-mate Geoff Parling (concussion) and winger Niall Morris (ankle) were hurt in the 45-0 defeat at Bath on Saturday.

The injury list also includes Ed Slater, Manu Tuilagi and Anthony Allen.

"We need to show some steel and backbone," director of rugby Cockerill told BBC East Midlands Today.

"We need to get out there, do what we do and keep the critics quiet. Those that want to throw mud can throw it, and we will just get on with it."

Tigers stalled by injury woe
Dual-code international Brad Thorn is one of three Leicester summer signings who are yet to make an appearance for the Tigers. Italian prop Michele Rizzo and back-rower Laurence Pearce join Thorn in nearing full-fitness. Other Leicester players who are close to making a return include Seremaia Bai, Blaine Scully, Miles Benjamin and Christian Loamanu.

Cockerill says the injury list, no matter how long, will not excuse his side if they fail to respond to their record Premiership defeat last week when they face London Irish at Welford Road on Saturday.

"We have a side more than capable of going out and performing on Saturday and getting a result," he added.

"Let's concentrate on that. Whoever is missing is missing, we can't control that at this point. We will patch up what we have got and crack on.

"I'm sure they will look at our team sheet and fancy their chances, but we have had that before on lots of occasions and against a lot of sides."