Former Leicester Tigers man Richard Cockerill has been appointed Head Coach of Edinburgh Rugby from the start of next season.
The three-time Premiership winning coach has signed a two-year deal and will relocate to Scotland for the new role after his current consultancy spell with Toulon. It’s a big call to move to Scotland, as you have to think any French offers on the table would be big money. But if he can turn this particular ship around…
After two spells playing for Leicester and two years at Montferrand, Cockerill spent 12 years in coaching roles at Leicester Tigers, rising through the ranks to become Head Coach in 2009 and then Director of Rugby in 2010.
He led the team to Premiership semi-finals every season he was in charge and won back to back titles in 2009, 2010 and a subsequent title in 2013.
During his time with the club he also reached the Heineken Cup Final in Edinburgh in 2009 and won the LV Cup in 2012. Although in later years, and this season in particular – see defeat to Glasgow twice in Europe – he had to get used to losing more often. One thing is for sure, his players won’t be mollycoddled post-match if they put in sub-par performances.
Edinburgh Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge will remain in his current role until the end of the season and then return to his previous position as backs coach with the club.
Edinburgh Rugby’s assistant coaches Stevie Scott and Pete Wilkins remain in post, although presumably, Cockerill will have some choice of backroom staff going forward as that has often been an issue with previous regimes having to wait out the contracts of coaches (and indeed players) brought in previously.
Cockerill joins a decent length list of potentially unpopular ex-England forwards to drop anchor at the capital club; let’s hope he’s more Andy Robinson than Neil Back. One thing is for sure he’s no mug and will attempt to instill the required club culture.
The current crop of Edinburgh forwards who already have the makings of a decent unit especially in the set-piece, could grow into a fearsome proposition under his care and attention.