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Sacked on Sunday, Richard Cockerill could have a new job by Thursday

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by Craig Williamson/SNS Group via Getty Images)

Former England assistant Richard Cockerill is reportedly set for a swift return to Test-level rugby after dramatically losing his job at Montpellier last weekend after just seven games.


It was last February when the ex-front-rower revealed that he would finish up with England at the end of the 2023 Guinness Six Nations and instead take up a sports manager role at the home of the 2022 French league champions.

However, his stay in the south of France came to an abrupt end after Montpellier owner Mohed Altrad drafted in Bernard Laporte over the weekend and one of Laporte’s first decisions was to remove Cockerill from his post.

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The soon-to-be 53-year-old won’t be idle for long, however, if a media report in France is on the money. L’Equipe have reported: “According to our sources, Richard Cockerill is not expected to remain without a job in rugby for very long.

“The former England hooker, sacked from Montpellier this weekend after another defeat in Perpignan (23-16), the sixth in a row for the Herault club which Cockerill joined this summer, would have reached an agreement with the Georgian federation to take over the national team.

“He is expected to sign a two-year contract on Thursday at the helm of the Lelos, who are coming off a mixed World Cup with a draw against Portugal (18-18), and three defeats, against Australia (35-15), Fiji (17-12) and Wales (43-19). He would take over from Levan Maisashvili, who stepped down after the World Cup.”

Last Saturday’s loss at fellow strugglers Perpignan resulted in Montpellier falling to the bottom of the Top 14 table with just one win in seven matches this term under Cockerill.


On quitting England in advance of the World Cup, Cockerill said: “Having coached and played in France previously, my family and I always had aspirations to return. This opportunity presented itself some time ago and it was too hard to turn down personally and professionally.

“It is disappointing not to work with Steve (Borthwick) and the wider team beyond the Six Nations. I had hoped to be able to stay for the Rugby World Cup, but the timings weren’t meant to be.”


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Eabn 7 hours ago
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