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Page last updated at 12:12 GMT, Wednesday, 10 June 2009 13:12 UK

Leicester prepared for Dupuy exit

Julien Dupuy
Dupuy appears to have played his last game in Tigers colours

Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill is resigned to losing French scrum-half Julien Dupuy to Stade Francais.

The 25-year-old wants a return to France and Stade tried to buy him out of the final year of his contract after the Heineken Cup final.

"I'd like to keep him, but he wants to go and they will pay a significant amount of money," Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester.

Stade have now upped their bid and look certain to have Dupuy for next season.

The former Biarritz goal-kicking scrum-half, who is only halfway through a two-year deal at Welford Road, has reportedly been unsettled at Leicester because his French girlfriend is homesick.

Cockerill says he is already planning for the scrum-half's departure.

"We have a replacement lined up and we'll see if that comes through, but the jigsaw's got to fall into place," he said.

"The player who comes in may be more experienced and help bring Ben (Youngs) through and help mentor Harry (Ellis) in a positive way too."

One player who may fit the bill is the 34-year-old Australian Chris Whittaker, who has been linked with the club.

606: DEBATE
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The Leinster number nine has the necessary experience after a successful career with the New South Wales Waratahs and 31 international caps.

Meanwhile, Dupuy will win his first cap for France when he starts against New Zealand in Dunedin on Saturday.



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