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Last Updated: Friday, 29 December 2006, 19:32 GMT
Tigers step up hunt for new coach
Pat Howard
Howard succeeded John Wells as Leicester coach in 2005
Leicester chairman Peter Tom has told the BBC that the club hope to have a replacement for head coach Pat Howard announced by the end of February.

Howard has confirmed he will leave his post at the end of the season.

South Africa coach Jake White and Australia assistant coach Scott Johnson are among those tipped to take over.

"We have probably three preferred candidates and obviously someone of White's calibre is in the frame," Tom told BBC Radio Leicester.

"Scott Johnson is another exciting guy. We've had a few conversations with him, but I think it would be wrong to say who the three candidates are because there are issues with their current jobs," he added.

"Circumstances come along and things change, and you have to be able to deal with those. But we would be looking to agree a three year contract with options after that."

However, Tom has hinted that the Tigers would be prepared to wait until after September's Rugby World Cup for their man to take over.

"If we decide that a certain individual will make the difference that we want to achieve and we have to wait a little while for them to come, then that is what we will have to do," he said.

"We want someone who can bring in the experience of rugby around the world. That was one of the things about Bob Dwyer when he took the club forward."

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Former Australia international Howard succeeded John Wells as head coach at Welford Road in 2005 and he is expected to take over the running of his family's pharmacy business in Australia.

Before becoming a coach, Howard played three seasons at fly-half and centre for the Tigers, helping them beat Stade Francais in the 2001 Heineken Cup final.

Leicester are second in the Guinness Premiership and on course to reach this season's Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

They have also reached the EDF Energy Cup semi-finals and will play Sale Sharks in Cardiff next March.



SEE ALSO
A coach's life
02 Dec 05 |  English


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