Big guns back for Tigers

Date published: August 19 2014

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill has revealed he will be playing his first team from here on in as they approach the season.

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill revealed he will be playing only his first-team squad from here on in as they approach the new season.

Tigers lost their most recent pre-season game, going down 26-19 against Nottingham, as the boss blended his XV with young and old players.

However, he's now cranking up the intensity for his senior players as he looks to hit the ground running when they kick-off against Newcastle.

“During the next two weeks, we will play the team that will take us up to the Premiership kick-off,” Cockerill revealed to the Leicester Mercury.

“Nottingham was too soon for the guys who have played this summer to come back into the squad. And there are a few niggles too.”

Leicester can expect to see the likes of England fly-half Freddie Burns and Italy hooker Leonardo Ghiraldini involved against Edinburgh this weekend. But one game that won't be happening is a fixture against Doncaster, with that clash cancelled by Leicester to keep players fresh.

“The pre-season programme is prepared in order to have the squad as fit and as fresh as possible for the first week of the new season, with nine months of competitive rugby to follow,” added Cockerill.

“With a staggered start to pre-season, we will now focus on one game in the final weekend of preparations before the start of the new league season.

“We appreciate this may disappoint some supporters and also the Doncaster players and supporters, but we have taken this action to help provide the best possible preparation time and recovery periods for players ahead of the opening game of a long and tough season.”