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Page last updated at 10:41 GMT, Wednesday, 14 January 2009

Cockerill sure of Meyer's return

Richard Cockerill
Cockerill is in charge following Heyneke Meyer's return home

Leicester Tigers stand-in coach Richard Cockerill says Heyneke Meyer will return to Welford Road once he has dealt with his personal problems.

Meyer returned to his native South Africa in January because of a serious family illness and it has been reported that his future at Tigers was in doubt.

But Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester: "Heyneke will deal with his issues and then return.

"He's here for the long-term and we want that to happen."

The former England and Leciester hooker added: "Every team needs continuity of coaching and playing staff and we need that for the foreseeable future and that's why Heyneke has been given the time to deal with his issues.

"We'd like to be stable and continue to build but it's not been possible so we just get on with it."

Cockerill is expected to remain in charge for the rest of January and is in regular contact with Meyer during his absence.

Despite some very big players retiring we've been the most consistent team across the board

Tigers coach Richard Cockerill

The Tigers full-time forwards coach finds himself in the role of the stand-in for the second time in less than 18 months after he stepped in prior to the arrival of Argentine Marcelo Loffreda in 2007.

But he said he has no intention of stepping up to the head coach role on a permanent basis.

"I've had the experience before but I've never courted the position, I didn't want it when Marcelo left and I don't particularly drive for it now."

And Cockerill does not see any need for Leicester fans to panic based on the experiences of the past two seasons.

"We've been to seven finals in the last four years and despite some very big players retiring, we've been the most consistent team across the board."

The Tigers are preparing to take on Treviso in the Heineken Cup on Saturday following defeat to local rivals Northampton in the Guinness Premiership.

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see also
Tigers holding firm, says Mauger
07 Jan 09 |  Leicester
Leicester doubt over Meyer future
06 Jan 09 |  Leicester
Leicester 24-22 Bath
04 Jan 09 |  English


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