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Monthly award is thanks to whole team

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Richard Cockerill has saluted the efforts of the whole playing squad and back-up staff at Leicester Tigers after being named as the season?s first Guinness Premiership Coach of the Month.

Alongside the Player of the Month, Ryan Lamb of Gloucester, Cockerill will be asked to select a local school to receive a full set of free rugby kit from Gilbert Rugby, Official Ball Supplier to the Guinness Premiership.

Despite having a dozen players on Rugby World Cup duty, including five with England, acting head coach Cockerill has helped steer Tigers to early-season wins over Bristol, Bath and London Wasps. Tigers sit second in the Guinness Premiership table with 12 points, two behind leaders Gloucester Rugby.

Cockerill said: "The award is not about one person, it is all about the efforts of everyone involved in the playing side of the club. All of the coaches are working hard, the medical and conditioning staff are working hard and the players are working even harder. We have had a good start but there is a long way to go."

The awards are selected by a different set of rugby journalists throughout the season. This month, Sky Sports analyst and former Sale and England scrum-half Dewi Morris headed the panel and said: "Richard Cockerill has helped Leicester Tigers off to a great start, winning a match against Bristol on their patch, a home match against traditional rivals Bath and then going down to Wycombe to steal the points off London Wasps in their first meeting since Wasps won the Heineken Cup.

"Tigers have always had a great attitude and a tradition of winning, and Cockerill has helped them continue that despite being without so many key players."

Lamb helped Gloucester Rugby to the top of the Guinness Premiership after three rounds, having won all of their matches, and thus setting up a massive match at Welford Road on Saturday (kick-off 6pm).

The young fly-half is the league's top points scorer with 46 in his three matches, including 23 points in the 38-31 win over Saracens.

"Of all the players over the first three rounds, Ryan Lamb has been the one who has done it week in and week out," said Morris. "Gloucester Rugby lead the league and that is down in no small part to Lamb's natural, impish skills. He is a breath of fresh air as far as this league is concerned and I am sure that his range of skills and his spirit of adventure will be rewarded in due course with international selection."