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Page last updated at 12:10 GMT, Saturday, 7 June 2008 13:10 UK

Tigers begin search for new coach

Richard Cockerill and Marcelo Loffreda
Cockerill (left) is reportedly a candidate to replace Loffreda

Leicester Tigers intend to have a new head coach in place for the start of pre-season training in July.

Marcelo Loffreda was sacked on Friday and South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning coach Jake White is reportedly the front-runner to take over.

"We will be interviewing internally and externally over the next 10 days or so," chairman Peter Tom told the Leicester Mercury.

"We expect to make an announcement two

weeks on Friday or Monday."

Current forwards coach Richard Cockerill and defence coach Neil Back are also said to be in the frame for the role of head coach, while Austin Healey has been linked with the job of backs coach.

Unfortunately, for reasons that are difficult to express, it has not worked out - it was a unanimous decision by the board

Leicester chairman Peter Tom on Marcelo Loffreda's sacking

"There are quite a few people available," said Tom.

"We have had approaches by agents from some interesting countries around the world, mainly in the southern hemisphere, and some of those will be interviewed in the next two weeks.

"Neil has done a great job but there is an interview process, and he, along with quite a few others, will be interviewed and then we will make a decision."

White has not been involved in coaching since his Springboks contract expired after South Africa's 15-6 World Cup final victory over England in Paris.

The 44-year-old has been linked with several subsequent jobs, including head coach of England and Ireland, and he was reportedly shortlisted to take over from Pat Howard as Tigers head coach before Loffreda was appointed in April last year.

Loffreda, 49, was dismissed just six months into his contract after losing the Guinness Premiership and EDF Energy Cup finals.

He flew to Argentina after the play-off final defeat by Wasps on Saturday saying he wanted to carry on at Welford Road but that he knew his future was in the hands of others.

606: DEBATE

"He was disappointed, as anyone would be, but he was a gentleman," said Tom. "We reached the conclusion it would have difficult for him to do what was necessary.

"Unfortunately, for reasons that are difficult to express, it has not worked out. It was a unanimous decision by the board."

Responding to criticism from supporters over the decision, Tom added: "It goes with the territory. People are passionate about Tigers and they have passionate views.

"There will be some people who will say this was the right thing to do, others will suggest the board should have gone and Marcelo should have stayed. I don't have any issues with people having opinions."


see also
Leicester dismiss coach Loffreda
06 Jun 08 |  Leicester
Wasps 26-16 Leicester
31 May 08 |  Rugby Union
Tigers losing their bite?
14 Apr 08 |  Leicester


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