Planet Rugby

Cockerill delighted to keep Goneva

13th April 2014 09:19

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Vereniki Goneva Leicester try 2014

Retained: Vereniki Goneva

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill was over the moon after Vereniki Goneva decided to stay with the club.

Goneva had been heavily linked with a move to the Top 14 at the end of the season after some excellent form in the Premiership and in Europe.

The Fijian is the try top-scorer in England at the moment with ten and Leicester will now breathe a huge sigh of relief after holding on to the winger.

Goneva scored one of Leicester's four tries in their 27-15 win over London Wasps on Saturday.

"It has been a long process. Niki wanted to stay. We got him from Tarbes, and when I met him he wanted to come to a big club and try and be as good as he could be," said Cockerill.

"We have delivered and he has delivered. He never wanted to leave. It was about getting the detail right contractually. He is happy and we are delighted to have his signature.

"With him, Manu Tuilagi and (Logovi'i) Mulipola and some of the guys we are bringing in for next season we will have a very physical team, and that is what you need at the top end."

Reflecting on Saturday's win, in which Tuilagi scored twice, Cockerill was pleased to pick up a try bonus point as the battle for the top four hots up, although he felt the match lacked quality.

"Job done, we will take maximum points, which is pleasing, but it was a bit of a non-event," added Cockerill.

"We were okay, they were okay, but it wasn't very fluid. Quins next week is a big game. We have got a nine-point cushion on them but we have still not qualified for the semi-finals, we are not home and dry.

"We have put a bit of pressure on Northampton but they are still in the box seat for a home semi-final. We have to keep winning and see what comes."

Wasps boss Dai Young felt his team deserved to take away a losing bonus point from Welford Road. Guy Thompson and Tommy Bell both scored for the visitors.

"We are disappointed we did not get a losing bonus point," said Young.

"We were right in the game until the end. I thought we frustrated Leicester for large parts of the game, but we let it slip away from us."

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