Cockerill backing Leicester’s England stars to shine on European stage

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill is backing his English contingent to shine against Toulon in the Heineken Cup

tom croft
Tom Croft returned from injury to feature in England's final two Six Nations games Photo: SSE

tom croft

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill is backing his England contingent to prove their qualities on the European stage at the second time of asking after suffering disappointment in the Six Nations.

Cockerill watched on as his charges Dan Cole, Geoff Parling, Tom Croft, Ben Youngs, Manu Tuilagi and Toby Flood all endured a 30-3 defeat at the hands of Wales, handing them a second-straight Six Nations title in the process.

All six returned to the Tigers starting XV as they beat Exeter Chiefs 12-9 in the Aviva Premiership to move second into the table.

And with a Heineken Cup quarter-final clash with Toulon fast approaching next month, Cockerill believes his England stars will show what they are made of against French opposition.

“Dan Cole is one of the best tight-head props in the world,” said Cockerill. “Is he as good as Wales’ Adam Jones? On his day, yes. For me, there is nothing in it.

“Ben Youngs has improved, Geoff Parling has done well, Manu Tuilagi has been a consistent performer at the age of 21 and Tom Croft has done very well since coming back from injury.

“We will be on the world stage when we play Toulon next month and what better place to prove how good you are for some of these players.”

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