Scottish Rugby News and Opinion


Richard Cockerill: Will he Stay or Go?

Richard Cockerill, Edinburgh Head Coach
Edinburgh Head Coach Richard Cockerill - pic © Al Ross/Novantae Photography

“Rugbypass understands”.

It’s only two words, but when they are followed up by a rumour that Richard Cockerill is head of the queue for the vacancy at Gloucester then they take on an importance that is, I hope, overstated and without any substance.

The Rugby Pod have also announced that Cockerill and Gloucester are in talks. As close as the hosts on that show are to the game, their repeated chat about how much money everyone makes and the size of their, ah, equipment are likely much more reliable.

All that said, there is no doubt that Richard Cockerill is a man in demand and with no rugby to watch the rumour mill is churning. There is no doubt he will be linked with every vacancy that arises in the English league.

Let’s face it, those opportunities turn up quite regularly.

Right there is reason number one why I don’t think he will be interested in this move. He has already found out what it’s like to be sacked from a club in that league when they’ve had a downturn in results. 

And he was sacked from a club where he was a legend and had already won them two titles as coach – so why put your head back in that noose?

He has been interviewed twice recently, for both The Pro14 Big Interview with Sean Holley and Edinburgh Rugby’s own podcast, Inside the Castle.  he has made it quite clear across those interviews that not only is he settled in Edinburgh with his family, but that he considers the Edinburgh job to be unfinished business and that he would happily sign an extension to his contract here.

You may have noticed: he’s a bit of a straight talker. So I can’t imagine he would have expressed those things if he was eyeing up a move. He doesn’t seem the hypocritical type.

One thing comes up repeatedly with Richard Cockerill and that is that you should, ‘stay in the fight’.

I consider him to be a man of his word and if that mantra is not just buzzwords then staying in the fight is finishing the job he started with Edinburgh. I think that’s exactly what he will do.

I could be entirely wrong – and if so I’d be disappointed, both for the club and in him.

I’ve no issue with people moving on but given everything he has said of late it would come as an even bigger kick in the teeth.

I guess time will tell whether he is the messiah or just a very naughty boy!

7 Responses

  1. Can’t see this happening, would be gutted if he did but as you mention, he seems to be really keen to see this project ,as he may call it ,through another couple seasons.

  2. It would be a disaster is Edinburgh lost Cockerill.

    It would seem like an odd move – he’s rebuilt his reputation at Edinburgh by turning around a basket case. Why move to another basket case? He’ll still be outspent by his league rivals, he’s less likely to enjoy top level European rugby and he’ll be starting from square one of a rebuild again.

    When he goes he should go to a top tier club seeking a top tier manager. Not an also-ran in the middle of a crisis (again).

    1. Because Gloucester is not Edinburgh. The West Country is not West Lothian.

      Kingsholm with it’s vibrant rugby infrastructure is a whole different level of intensity. I would be more surprised if he did not take it.

      Would I trade another 3 years at Edinburgh, for 1 year at Gloucester, I think, I might !

      Viva Glos-Vegas !

  3. I think “in talks” is pretty much code for a fishing expedition to get a better deal at Edinburgh. Doubt he’ll leave but Edinburgh might need to match an outside offer…

  4. I would be surprised if he left at the moment, I get that Gloucester is a big club with a large fan base, and I get that the premiership is arguably the more prestigious league. But whether Cockers will admit it or not I think he knows that he has a really good squad at Edinburgh and sniffs that he might be able to win something soon and that would cement his reputation. He can finish the job at Edinbugh and then he just has to wait and cherry pick the English club he want there will be probably 3 or 4 a season for him to pick from, all of them big.

    1. Oh dear , oh dear , oh dear. I don’t agree with you Sam or FF. Gloucester finished 3rd last season, that is not the record of a hopeless or critically ill club (I refuse to repeat FF’s name for them).

      Why would he wait ? If he has an offer from what is normally a top 4 premiership club. Why wait, he could win the Premiership with Gloucester. Saracens are weakened , the Premiership is full of optimism. What is to wait for ! For Edinburgh to let him down and leave him nowhere perhaps ! For Toonie to burn his players out! or to train the skill out of them ! No , No , No , If I were him, I would take it, right club, right time in his life, he has done enough here already, why take the risk. He will be a loss but remembered fondly.

  5. It reminds me of when Toonie was at Glasgow and noises were coming out in the media that he was in demand amongst some English Premiership clubs. How did the SRU respond? They decided to give him the Scotland HC role in order to keep him within Scottish rugby and not renew the incumbent’s contract. Hmmm.

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Scottish Rugby News and Opinion