Planet Rugby

Tigers fight to keep Goneva, Matera

07th March 2014 08:06


niki goneva scores for leicester tigers against worcester warriors

Finisher: Vereniki Goneva

Leicester Tigers are working to keep Vereniki Goneva and Pablo Matera at the club next season despite interest from elsewhere.

Goneva has been heavily linked with a move to Top 14 side Castres for next season, while Pablo Matera is likely to play a part in Super Rugby following the creation of a new Argentinian franchise.

The Fijian wing has been in outstanding form for Leicester this season, scoring ten tries in 18 games including five in his last four matches.

"Niki has had an offer from Castres and that is for him to decide what he wants to do," Cockerill told the Leicester Mercury.

"It has not been the easiest thing to deal with at times but it may resolve itself.

"We are very keen to keep him, and Niki could stay."

Keeping Matera though is another matter, with the highly-rated 20-year-old in demand in the Southern Hemisphere.

"Pablo is a young man and there is an Argentine Super Rugby franchise being created in a year or so, so it's down to what he wants to do long-term," added Cockerill.

"He is still only 20 and he is really raw but you can see the ability he has in the last few games.

"Now he has to decide what he wants to do. Because he plays for Argentina, we are never going to have him for a pre-season because he will be away in the Rugby Championship.

"Add in the autumn internationals and he will return to Leicester in December and come into a side that will need to win every game.

"We will not be able to ease him in. It's about the value that us, Pablo and his agent put on that.

"If you get three or four Argentines in the squad, you have to be careful. Everybody will want him to stay - but everyone wants us to be champions too."

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