Richard Cockerill to take over as Edinburgh coach for next season

Richard Cockerill enjoyed a trophy-laden spell in his time with Leicester Tigers
Richard Cockerill enjoyed a trophy-laden spell in his time with Leicester Tigers

Richard Cockerill has been appointed Edinburgh head coach for next season, with the Pro12 club hailing the appointment as a statement of intent.

Cockerill, sacked as Leicester Tigers last month, is working as a consultant with Toulon in the French Top 14.

The former England hooker has signed a two-year deal with Scottish Rugby.

Edinburgh Rugby managing director Jonny Petrie said: "We want to emulate and surpass where Glasgow have been over the last few years."

Cockerill became head coach at Leicester in 2009 and then director of rugby in 2010.

He won English Premiership titles in 2009, 2010 and 2013 and reached the Heineken Cup final in 2009.

"Through a long and distinguished career, with Leicester particularly, he's a proven winner - winning Premiership titles and that's absolutely what we need at this club," Petrie told BBC Scotland.

"We all recognise where Edinburgh can and should be at and we want to get there as quickly as we possibly can.

"From a Scottish rugby perspective as well as well as Edinburgh Rugby, this is a big statement of our intent and our ambition.

"He sees the potential as well. That is part of what he's talked about."

Duncan Hodge has been acting head coach since the departure of Alan Solomons in September, but his side sit ninth of the 12-team league.

And Hodge will return to his previous position as backs coach when Cockerill takes up his post.

Caretaker head coach Duncan Hodge will revert to his role as backs coach
Caretaker head coach Duncan Hodge will revert to his role as backs coach

"Duncan's put a lot of effort into the acting head coach role over the course of the past few months," said Petrie.

"There's been some really good stuff in there and I think equally there's been some inconsistencies, which Duncan will be the first to recognise.

"But we're looking forward to being able to bring Richard in to work alongside Duncan to be able to keep going with that enterprising style of rugby that we've developed but lay on top of that the real hard edge that someone like Richard Cockerill will bring to it that will be bring the best out of that group of players."

Cockerill is looking forward to the challenge.

"It's a real rugby city and the club has a lot of potential to grow," he told Edinburgh's website. "The opportunity at Edinburgh Rugby ticked all the boxes.

"I'm also relishing the chance of coaching in the Guinness Pro12, which is a new league for me, and working with a clearly talented group of players."

Scotland defence coach Matt Taylor, who is also a member of Glasgow Warriors' back-room staff, welcomed the appointment.

"Hodgey has done a great job, but Richard has been brought in because he is a really experienced coach who has won at the highest level," he said.

"His record in terms of doing well in Europe is exceptional. It's a strength.

"Hopefully, Edinburgh doing well will strengthen the Scotland team."

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson added: "As a highly experienced, winning coach, we targeted him and worked hard to ensure his talents could be secured for the benefit of Edinburgh Rugby.

"The fact he has chosen Edinburgh Rugby as the next step in his career says everything about the shared vision we have for the club and his role in it."

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