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Last Updated: Wednesday, 14 February 2007, 07:37 GMT
Leicester will rest England stars
England number eight Martin Corry
Corry could be named on the Leicester bench
Leicester coach Richard Cockerill says none of his players named in England's team to face Ireland will play a full Premiership game this weekend.

Only prop Julian White, who has spent the last two weekends on the bench for England, could start for the Tigers against Worcester on Saturday.

Ireland back Geordan Murphy and Italian front rower Martin Castrogiovanni are also likely to be left out.

"The welfare of our players comes first," said Cockerill.

Skipper Martin Corry, lock Louis Deacon, hooker George Chuter and scrum-half Harry Ellis will now only feature on the bench, if at all.

Leicester say their decision was not in direct response to the request by the Rugby Football Union that Premiership clubs rest their England starters.

The RFU was especially concerned by the league games this Sunday, which come six days before the Six Nations match in Dublin.

We want to look after our best players because we have big games coming up after the Six Nations

Tigers coach Richard Cockerill

And Cockerill has denied the implication that clubs do not manage their players carefully enough.

"We don't over-play our players and I don't think any other clubs do," he added.

"You only have to look back to the autumn when Julian White was played four games on the trot by England and we had to rest him for three weeks after that.

"We had the players' interests first. England played him to near exhaustion.

606 DEBATE: Your reaction to this news

"It is not just England players we look after, we look after all our international players across the board.

"Our strategy is that we know we will lose these players for periods of time and we have built a strength of squad to deal with that. Other clubs may not have that luxury.

"But from a Leicester point of view we want to look after our best players because we have big games coming up after the Six Nations and we want them to be as fresh as possible."

Newcastle have already announced that they will be resting fly-half Jonny Wilkinson for their trip to Bristol on Sunday.

Toby Flood and Mathew Tait, both substitutes for England, will play.




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