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Cockerill pleased with pre-season progress

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Richard Cockerill said he was pleased with Leicester Tigers' first run-out of the summer after a hard-fought encounter with Montpelier.

Tigers scored three tries in a 24-19 defeat at the Stade de Saint Affrique on Wednesday evening through Matt Smith, Jack Cobden and Lewis Moody. Billy Twelvetrees added two conversions.

Cockerill gave starts to five of his summer signings in Anthony Allen, Joe Duffey, James Grindal, Geoff Parling, and Billy Twelvetrees, and there were also run-outs for a clutch of the club’s young talents including Will Hurrell and Andrew Forsyth.

And the Tigers coach declared himself happy with the squad's progress as they build towards their second game of the Vaquerin Challenge against Castres in Camares on Saturday (kick off 6.30pm local time).

“I am pleased with the attitude of the players,” said Cockerill. “Obviously we would like to win but it is not about that for us.

“This was Montpelier’s third game and our first run-out, and there were lots of really nice things for us. We scored three really nice tries and they scored just two, and we looked to play and didn't kick goals every time we had the opportunity.

“I am really happy with the young guys and pretty much everybody in the squad got game time.”

He added: “Billy Twelvetrees at fly-half did well for us, as did Anthony Allen in his first game. With Will Hurrell, Andrew Forsyth making his debut and Calum Green there were some really young guys out there.

“Robbie Harris and Joe Duffey played their first games, so there are lots of pleasing things and we still have plenty of training and game time to come.

“I am happy with where we are at the moment.”

Tigers returned to work at their training camp today as they begin their preparations for Saturday’s game against Castres.

Cockerill said: “You come to France because you know it is going to be tough and physical and hard. In that regard it is the perfect test for everybody.”