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Internationals set to return for pre-season

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Leicester Tigers' build-up towards the new season will step up again on Monday when the last group of players return to training.

Players have been back to work at Oval Park during the last month and, with the internationals due to report in on Monday at the end of their summer break, Richard Cockerill and the coaching staff will be able to see the whole squad together again for the first time since May.

“At this point we’re just trying to get everybody up to speed, bringing in the new guys and letting them get used to us, and getting the group together,” said Tigers director of rugby Cockerill.

“We’ve had a lot of different start dates for the pre-season with players coming in at different times after tours, injuries and whatever, but by Monday we’ll have everyone back and we’ll gradually build up towards the pre-season fixtures and then the start of the new season.”

Tom Croft and Tom Youngs sat out the England tour at the end of last season but Tigers will welcome back Ed Slater, Geoff Parling, Manu Tuilagi and Ben Youngs, while new signing Freddie Burns has already checked in at his new club after starting two of the three Tests in New Zealand.

Dan Cole missed the tour with a neck injury but Cockerill confirmed the tighthead prop is making good progress in his recovery.

“It’s coming on well,” said Cockerill. “It’s just a waiting game. Because of where the injury is, and like all the other injured players, we have to make sure we give them enough time.

"There is no target, we’re hoping October/November but if it is December/January then it’s not an issue. We want Coley back for the long term. There are no risks taken there.”