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Last Updated: Friday, 10 February 2006, 09:59 GMT
Howard agrees to stay with Tigers
Pat Howard
Howard originally only intended to stay in the post for one season
Leicester head coach Pat Howard has shelved plans to return home to Australia at the end of this season and signed a new contract with the Tigers.

Howard was intending to go back to Australia in the summer and work in his family's pharmacy business.

But the former Wallabies centre, who won the 2001 Heineken Cup with Leicester as a player, has agreed a new deal "for at least one further season".

Forwards coach Richard Cockerill has also agreed a new contract.

Leicester interviewed several candidates for Howard's role, including former Sale boss Jim Mallinder, Wales assistant coach Scott Johnson and former Italy coach John Kirwan.

But Tigers chairman Peter Tom insists persuading Howard to stay was always the club's primary aim.

"Pat Howard was always our first choice," he said.

"He is one of the most gifted and talented coaches in the world, and together with Richard Cockerill we believe we have a coaching team that can bring further success to Leicester and realise our ambition to make Tigers the best club side in the world.

"We are delighted Pat and Richard have decided to extend their contracts. This is great news for our players, supporters, and everyone associated with Leicester."

Leicester, who face Gloucester at Kingsholm in the Guinness Premiership on Friday, are still in contention for three trophies this season.

They are on course to make the Premiership play-offs, they meet Wasps in the Powergen Cup semi-finals on 4 March and clash with old rivals Bath in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals on 1 April.

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