Castro has a point to prove in Toulon

Date published: April 3 2013

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill says prop Martin Castrogiovanni is especially motivated for Sunday's quarter-final clash in Toulon.

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill says veteran prop Martin Castrogiovanni is especially motivated for Sunday's Heineken Cup quarter-final clash in Toulon.

The Italian international's much-publicised proposed move to the French club seems to have fallen through after RCT president Mourad Boudjellal claimed that Tigers were asking for too much money for the transfer fee.

Tigers chief executive Simon Cohen however insists that nothing has changed since the original fee was agreed “months ago” and that the move now depended on the player and Toulon agreeing terms.

“We met with Mourad Boudjellal and we agreed a fee at that meeting,” Cohen told the Leicester Mercury.

“Toulon have been unable to complete the agreement but our position remains exactly the same.

“We have identified a replacement and, if Toulon are able to complete the agreement and the replacement player becomes available, we would still be able to release Castro.

“But, at the point in time at which the replacement we have identified signs elsewhere, we will then not be in a position to release Castro. If he does end up staying at Tigers, we will be happy because he is a great player and an icon of the club.”

All that paperwork will be irrelevent when Leicester visit Stade Felix Mayol on Sunday and Cockerill is adament that the row would not distract the stalwart tighthead.

“[Cohen and Boudjellal] had a discussion and, in principle, did a deal that everyone was happy with. That has not changed at all – neither ethically or financially and now this statement (from Toulon) gets put out.

“Whether it is part of negotiating tactics from them or not, I don't know.

“It might be (mind games) but it doesn't affect us and Castro's attitude has been fantastic.

“He has been at the club for a long time. If anything, as and when Castro plays at the weekend, he will probably want to prove a point even more. It's all the more motivation for ourselves.

“We've got nothing to lose and we won't fear going there.”