Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation
leicestertigers.comMattioli Woods Welford RoadContact UsTopps Tiles

Cockerill looks for more at Bedford

Figure image
Tigers go to Bedford for the second pre-season fixture on Saturday looking to pick up from where they left off at Cornish Pirates last weekend.

Last season's Double winners travel to Goldington Road tomorrow (kick-off 3pm) for the second of five summer fixtures prior to the start of their Guinness Premiership title defence at Bristol on September 16.

Coach Richard Cockerill gave game-time to all of his squad in the victory over Pirates at Camborne and is preparing his players for more opposition from National League One in front of another good crowd tomorrow.

While pleased with last weekend's performance, Cockerill says he is looking for further progress in the build-up to the new season.

"I want an improvement from last week, then we have the game against Nottingham and we want a lift again and then we get into Bayonne and Montauban and, as far as I am concerned, it is almost the start of the season then," he said.

After a first appearance in Tigers colours last week for the likes of Benjamin Kayser, Boris Stankovich and Marco Wentzel, who all arrived in the summer, Cockerill said: "I was happy with the new guys just to get a game. Some of those guys had some nice touches and did some good things. They will be involved again this weekend."

As well as including the club's new arrivals, Tigers' acting head coach will give some of his younger players another chance as he looks to allow all of his players to gain more game-time.

"Vavae Tuilagi played last week, Will Hurrell and Mitch Culpin played, and those guys are not used to playing at this level but they did a really good job," Cockerill said. "They weren't outstanding, but they did not look out of place and that is a credit to the system we have here with the Academy and a credit to those young lads who got called in at short notice."

Cockerill was also pleased with the contribution made by scrum-half Ben Youngs who had an introduction to first-team rugby last season which included an appearance as a second-half replacement in the Guinness Premiership Final in May.

"Ben did a really good job last week," he said. "It was his first start for us and he did very well, scoring a try and making a couple of others. He plays with a young man's sense of no fear and he just gets on with it. Technically, he is not the finished article by a long, long way, but he is only 17 and he is a good kid who works hard. I've got a lot of time for him and, if he carries on the way he is going, then he has got a big future."

Leicester Tigers squad for Saturday:
Backs - Culpin, J Murphy, Hurrell, Dodge, T Youngs, V Tuilagi, Varndell, O Smith, Cornwell, M Smith, Goode, Burke, B Youngs, F Murphy
Forwards - Moreno, Stankovich, Kayser, Davies, Young, White, Blaze, L Deacon, Finegan, Wentzel, Croft, Pienaar, Abraham, Herring, B Deacon, Crane.