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Tigers to sign former coach

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Tigers to sign their former defence coach who served six month ban for gambling on games

Leicester Tigers are set to fill their defence coach vacancy with a former employee of the club who served a six month ban for gambling on European Champions Cup matches.

Leicester have shipped 292 points and 39 tries so far in the Premiership, the most of any team in the competition, and are badly in need of a defence coach to mend the holes in their defence.

Phil Blake was initially appointed as defence coach at the club in 2014. However in 2015, Blake incurred a six-month ban from rugby for breaching RFU betting rules after placing eight separate bets on two Tigers games while he was coaching at the club.

The first charge related to betting on a European Champions Cup match between Toulon and Leicester Tigers on 13 December 2014 and the second for betting on an Aviva Premiership match between Newcastle Falcons and Leicester Tigers on 8 March 2015.

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An appeal lodged by Phil Blake against the length of the sanction was dismissed.

Leicester Tigers stated at the time: “Phil Blake was under contract for the 2014/15 season and is no longer employed by Leicester Tigers.

“The club would, however, like to place on record, as it did during his time at Leicester, that he was a popular and valued member of the coaching team and we hope he is fully able to return to the game in a suitable capacity at the end of the period laid down by the disciplinary hearing.”

Blake then joined Wasps in 2016, and during his time there the club were twice part of the domestic play-offs and also appeared in a European Champions Cup quarter-final.

Blake’s two-year spell at the Ricoh Arena came to an end last season following the expiry of his contract, which the club did not extend.

The 55-year-old Australian had a distinguished rugby league playing and coaching career, before moving to union where he worked with the Wallabies, Western Force and Manly prior to moving to England to work as part of the coaching team that took Leicester Tigers to an Aviva Premiership semi-final in 2015.

This week Geordan Murphy was officially appointed head coach after holding the position on an interim basis since the opening weeks of the season.

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Tigers to sign their former defence coach who served six month ban for gambling on games