The Leicester Tigers head coach saluted the entire playing squad after a 33-27 win over Saracens in the Guinness Premiership Final at Twickenham on Saturday sealed the English crown.
“To in back-to-back titles is a big achievement,” Cockerill said. “When you are champions, everywhere you go people want to beat you. You have to give the players a huge amount of credit to work though a hard year and do what we do and retain the title.
“We work very hard, every day we are out there working very hard, but it pays off. When you work in training there is a good chance it will work on the Saturday.”
Dan Hipkiss raced over for the winning try with the clock approaching 80 minutes, just moments after a Glen Jackson penalty looked to have won it for Saracens.
“After they scored, I was just thinking about how we were going to win the ball back,” Cockerill said. “Fair play to Toby Flood, he kicked it in the right place, Scott Hamilton catches it, Dan Hipkiss scores and we have won the game.
“People talk about the coach’s influence, but the players made the call, they won the ball and won the game.
“Dan has had a bit if injury trouble this season but he’s fit again and he’s a very good player. He’s been bursting out of his skin to be involved and I’m quite grateful we brought him in!”
Cockerill shared a thought for Saracens, who were one point ahead with the game entering its closing four minutes when Hipkiss popped up to score.
“It is hard on Saracens,” he said. “It’s a cracking game if you win it. I’ve been there myself, they could’ve won, they’re a good team.”