Planet Rugby

Cockerill targets improved defence

02nd August 2014 08:13

Share:

SKY_MOBILE Phil Blake - Oct 2010

Phil Blake: Tigers' new defence coach

Leicester boss Richard Cockerill has identified defence as an area his side must improve on if they want to regain the Premiership title.

During last season's Premiership campaign the Tigers conceded 41 tries - 10 more than eventual champions Northampton Saints.

Cockerill has already made plans for his side to improve on that effort by bringing in Australian rugby league great Phil Blake as Leicester's new defence coach.

The Tigers' consistency on defence was hampered by a long injury list which saw them trying out 13 different centre combinations last season.

But Cockerill feels that his team can show a technical and mental improvement on defence.

"We need to be better defensively," he told the Leicester Mercury.

"Our understanding of defence individually needs to be better, our tackle technique has to be better.

No issues with our commitment, if you watch any of our games we are committed. Sometimes we are not as bright as we should be.

"We need to improve our physicality on the gain line when we don't have the ball. We are very eager to play with the ball but when it is turned over we are not as aggressive or as urgent in defence as we should be.

"We let teams run at us too much. That cost us in the season. Some of that is how we play, some of that is our mentality. We can tackle.

"We scramble and we dive for the team when we have to roll our sleeves up and dig in but I want us to avoid getting to that point as often as possible."

"We have got the personnel and it's about getting the detail in the coaching. If those parts of the game aren't working as well as you want them to you have to do something about it and now we have that expertise in our coaching team along with all the other guys."

Cockerill did most of the defensive work with his charges last season but is excited to have Blake - who had stints as the defence coach with the Wallabies and Western Force - as part of his backroom staff.

"He comes with a great reputation, he's a good person," said Cockerill.

"He has coached as a head coach, so not only is he a good defence coach, he understands the game even though he has a league background.

"Having a dedicated person to look at the detail and drive it on a week-to-week basis will be much better."

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs NorthamptonSaracens vs Northampton Preview
London Welsh vs Leicester TigersLondon Welsh vs Leicester Tigers Preview
Friday , November 28
Bath vs Harlequins19:45
Saturday , November 29
Leicester Tigers vs Wasps15:00
Exeter vs Saracens16:30
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Sunday , November 23
Georgia vs JapanGeorgia vs Japan Preview
Saturday , November 29
Wales vs South Africa14:30
England vs Australia14:30
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs LeinsterTreviso vs Leinster Preview
Edinburgh vs Cardiff BluesEdinburgh vs Cardiff Blues Preview
Friday , November 28
Munster vs Ulster19:35
Cardiff Blues vs Treviso19:35
Saturday , November 29
Zebre vs Edinburgh15:00
Leinster vs Ospreys17:15
Connacht vs Scarlets19:30
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Top 14
Saturday , November 29
Oyonnax vs Bordeaux-Begles18:00
Lyon vs Montpellier18:00
La Rochelle vs Bayonne18:00
Castres vs Racing Metro Paris18:00
Toulon vs Clermont Auvergne18:00
More Top 14 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 22
London Irish 23 - 33 BathLondon Irish vs Bath Report
Exeter 31 - 15 WaspsExeter vs Wasps Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 6 - 22 South AfricaItaly vs South Africa Report
Ireland 26 - 23 AustraliaIreland vs Australia Report
England 28 - 9 SamoaEngland vs Samoa Report
Wales 16 - 34 New ZealandWales vs New Zealand Report
Romania 18 - 9 CanadaRomania vs Canada Report
Scotland 37 - 12 TongaScotland vs Tonga Report
France 13 - 18 ArgentinaFrance vs Argentina Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins 12 - 16 Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Report
Newcastle Falcons 20 - 10 GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Fiji 20 - 14 USAFiji vs USA Report
More International Match results
Guinness PRO12
Dragons 12 - 38 MunsterDragons vs Munster Report
Ulster 25 - 16 OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Report
Scarlets 19 - 9 Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Report
Connacht 43 - 3 ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Report
More Guinness PRO12 results
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Exeter828
2Bath828
3Northampton726
4Saracens724
5Wasps820