‘They can win big one-off games’ – Cockerill

Date published: April 9 2016

Stade Français have 'nothing to lose' when they come up against Leicester in the Champions Cup quarter-final on Sunday, that is the view of Tigers director of rugby, Richard Cockerill.

The Top 14 holders are not anywhere close to successfully defending their title, finding themselves in third last position on the table.

Tigers and Stade will meet at Welford Road on Sunday to compete for a spot in the final four of Europe.

And Cockerill admits that the French champions are going to be tough to crack, given that the Champions Cup title is all that they are playing for now that relegation has been avoided.

"I would imagine they will come to Welford Road fully loaded. They are third bottom in their Championship and won't make Europe via the league," Cockerill told PA Sport.

"There's no chance of them getting relegated.

"I imagine this will be their only focus. It makes them more dangerous that they have only got one thought."

The Tigers boss was not shying away from Stade's ability to win when it matters.

"Knowing that they were sixth in the league last season and ended up being champions means I am acutely aware they can win big one-off games," he added.

"They came from nowhere to win the competition last year.

"We can't be complacent in any way shape or form."