Friday, 4 October 2013

Cockerill faces Nemesis Northampton and signs new 5 Year Deal

Tigers face Northampton for the 229th time tomorrow as they aim to extend their 8 game winning run in the fixture.  This is the second longest winning streak for Tigers in the fixture,only beaten by the 10 game run between 1983 and 1990.  

Northampton are looking for their first victory at Welford Road since the Stephen Myler inspired victory in their most recent relegation year of 2007.  Jim Mallinder makes two changes to the side that slaughtered Sale as Samu Manoa replaces the injured Christian Day and Coventry native Tom Wood replaces the arm breaker Calum Clarke at blindside wanker, I mean flanker.  A new name to many will be number 8 Sam Dickinson signed from Rotherham last summer.  The burly northerner has been a revalation after missing  most of last season with a broken arm.

Richard Cockerill may still be banned after the hate campaign waged by bitter rival Dorian West and the Northampton e-mail warriors but his face will be in abundance as Tigers will be giving out free masks bearing the likeness of the Dear Leader.  This week Cockerill signed a new 5 year contract which looks set to make him the club's longest serving coach in the Professional era.

Whatever the RFU and their stuffed shirts in London might think to me Cockerill embodies all the best characteristics of game of Rugby, the city of Leicester and the Leicester Football Club.  He is passionate and honest to a fault.  He works long, hard days and would never ask someone to do something he wasn't prepared to do himself.  He worked way his way up to the very top of his profession after leaving school at 16 with no qualifications.  He had no silver spoons or helping hands, everything he has achieved he has worked at and earned for himself.  When he makes a mistake he doesn't have an old school chum to defend him in his Telegraph column.

And far more importantly he knows his Rugby.

Cockerill makes only one change from the side that struggled to beat to Exeter last weekend as Graham Kitchener replaces Geoff Parling.  Parling left the field injured last week but it is unknown if the injury is still bothering him or whether it is a simple case of rotation.  After his outstanding performance in last year's Premiership Final Cockerill may have simply opted for Kitchener.  If he can score a try or do another try saving tackle it will have been a great call.

On the bench Thomas Waldrom replaces Jamie Gibson after his run out for the A team on Monday night.  Owen Williams continues in the place of bad boy Ryan Lamb.

Last week's Man of the Match Vereniki Goneva will be making his 20th start for the club so will earn his players tie.

Saturday's referee will be John Paul Doyle.  JP as he is known is a Dubliner who relocated to London for university and is now a mainstay of English refereeing.  Doyle has refereed 13 Tigers game with 11 victories to only two defeats.  Doyle refereed the LV Cup Final between the two sides in 2012, so will need to reminding to watch out for dirty Saints play in and around the ruck.

The game is live on BT Sports 1HD, coverage starts at 3PM for a 3.15 K.O. 

Leicester Tigers (v Northampton Saints, Welford Road, Saturday 3.15pm)
15 Niall Morris
14 Blaine Scully
13 Vereniki Goneva
12 Anthony Allen
11 Adam Thompstone
10 Toby Flood (c)
9 Ben Youngs
1 Logovi'i Mulipola
2 Tom Youngs
3 Dan Cole
4 Louis Deacon
5 Graham Kitchener
6 Ed Slater
7 Julian Salvi
8 Jordan Crane

16 Neil Briggs
17 Boris Stankovich
18 Fraser Balmain
19 Geoff Parling
20 Thomas Waldrom
21 David Mele
22 Owen Williams
23 Dan Bowden

Northampton Saints
15 Ben Foden
14 Jamie Elliott
13 George Pisi
12 Luther Burrell
11 George North
10 Stephen Myler
9 Lee Dickson
1 Alex Corbisiero
2 Dylan Hartley (c)
3 Tom Mercey
4 Samu Manoa
5 Courtney Lawes
6 Tom Wood
7 Phil Dowson
8 Sam Dickinson

16 Mike Haywood
17 Alex Waller
18 Gareth Denman
19 G J Van Velze
20 Calum Clark
21 Kahn Fotuali'i
22 James Wilson
23 Ken Pisi 

Leicester Kit:

Northampton Kit:

No comments:

Post a Comment