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Cockerill to make Welford Road return as Tigers set to face Black Lion

By Josh Raisey
Richard Cockerill, head coach of Georgia, appears during warm up prior to the 2024 Rugby Europe Championship round 3 match between Georgia and Spain at Avchala Rugby Stadium on February 17, 2024 in Tbilisi, Georgia. (Photo by Levan Verdzeuli/Getty Images)

Richard Cockerill is set to make his return to Welford Road in May as his Black Lion side are set to take on Leicester Tigers.

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Following Leicester’s exit from the Investec Champions Cup on Saturday at the hands of Leinster, the Gallagher Premiership outfit have a weekend free in May (which would have been the semi-finals), which they have filled with a clash between the Black Lion and a Leicester Tigers XV on Friday May 3.

The match will see Cockerill, now the coach of the Georgia national team and the Black Lion, return to Welford Road after years of success in the East Midlands as both a player and a coach.

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Looking ahead to the fixture, he said: “I’m really looking forward to bringing a Georgian team back to my old stomping ground.”

“Leicester has been a huge part of my life in rugby and many of my fondest memories, as both a player and a coach, involve games played at Mattioli Woods Welford Road, which has a unique atmosphere and history.

“This fixture is a fantastic opportunity for the Black Lion to take on one of Europe’s finest clubs after the successful first outing in the EPCR Challenge Cup. I can’t wait to introduce the Mattioli Woods Welford Road faithful to Georgian rugby and for the Black Lion squad to get a taste of the Leicester experience.”

Cockerill’s counterpart Dan McKellar added: “We’re pleased to be able to add an additional home game to our program and excited to welcome Georgia Black Lion to Mattioli Woods Welford Road.”

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“Developing our squad and club coaches and staff is critical and this game will give them an opportunity to play a quality opposition at our home ground.”

The match will come before Leicester Tigers’ final two matches of the regular Premiership season against Sale Sharks and Exeter Chiefs.

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