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Richard Cockerill (born 16 December 1970) is a former English rugby union footballer who played as a hooker.

Richard Cockerill
Richard Cockerill.jpg
Birth nameRichard Cockerill
Date of birth (1970-12-16) 16 December 1970 (age 48)
Place of birthRugby, Warwickshire
Height1.78 m (5 ft 10 in)
Weight108 kg (17 st 0 lb)
SchoolHarris School
Occupation(s)Director of Rugby
Rugby union career
Position(s) Head Coach
Current team Edinburgh Rugby
Amateur team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
- Newbold on Avon ()
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
Coventry RFC
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1997–1999 England 27 (15)
Teams coached
Years Team
Leicester Tigers
Edinburgh Rugby

In 2017 he was named as the head coach of Guinness Pro14 side Edinburgh Rugby signing a two-year deal with the SRU.[1] He extended his contract in April 2018 to remain as head coach with Edinburgh until 2021.[2]

Playing careerEdit

Cockerill was born in Rugby. Joining Leicester Tigers, he established himself as the B of the "ABC club" alongside Graham Rowntree (A) and Darren Garforth (C). Cockerill was an unused replacement for both the 2001[3] and 2002[4] Heineken Cup finals.

He made his England debut against Argentina in 1997 and later his first match at Twickenham was as a half-time replacement for the Bath hooker Andy Long in Clive Woodward's first match in charge against the Wallabies; Long was young and clearly out of his depth. Cockerill's performance earned him a starting place against New Zealand, where he stood up to Norm Hewitt during the haka (see book cover).

A dip in form led him to lose his first choice hooking position at Leicester to Dorian West. He was also dropped from the England side after criticising Woodward in his book entitled In Your Face. He subsequently moved to France, but signed again for Leicester for the 2004–05 season.

Coaching careerEdit

In 2005 he was appointed forwards coach at Leicester Tigers succeeding John Wells.[5]

Cockerill served as acting head coach of Leicester Tigers in the early part of the 2007–08 season before Marcelo Loffreda arrived from Argentina in the wake of the Pumas' third-place finish in the 2007 Rugby World Cup. He also took over as acting head coach in February 2009 after Heyneke Meyer resigned due to family reasons. On 17 April 2009, Cockerill was confirmed in the head coach role.[6] On 16 May he guided Leicester to win the Guinness Premiership with a 10–9 win over London Irish in the final.[7] A week later they lost in the final of the Heineken cup to Leinster 19–16 in Edinburgh.[8] In the 2009–10 season Cockerill also led The Tigers to a second Premiership title in a row with a win over Saracens at Twickenham.

On 13 December 2016, it was announced that Cockerill was to be fired from his position if he did not 'turn a corner' and subsequent defeats against various teams along with the players themselves asking for a change. On 2 January 2017 he was sacked after a home loss to Saracens in the Premiership. Four days later, on 6 January 2017, he found a position with French TOP 14 team Toulon as a member of the coaching team for the 2016-2017 season.

On 20 February 2017, it was announced Cockerill has been appointed as head coach of Edinburgh Rugby for the 2017–18 Pro14 season.


  • Richard Cockerill (with Michael Tanner as a ghost writer) In Your Face: A Rugby Odyssey ISBN 1-84018-266-0


  1. ^ Edinburgh Rugby [@EdinburghRugby] (20 February 2017). "BREAKING | Richard Cockerill has been appointed Head Coach of Edinburgh Rugby with effect from the start of next se…" (Tweet) – via Twitter.
  2. ^ "Edinburgh Rugby: Richard Cockerill signs contract extension until 2021". BBC. 20 April 2018.
  3. ^ "European glory seals Leicester treble". BBC. 19 May 2001. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  4. ^ "Tigers retain European Cup". BBC. 25 May 2002. Retrieved 7 September 2014.
  5. ^ Forwards coach Cockerill won't change Archived 24 February 2012 at the Wayback Machine
  6. ^ Sherrard, Gary (17 April 2009). "Leicester Tigers confirm Richard Cockerill appointment". Leicester Tigers. Retrieved 17 April 2009.[permanent dead link]
  7. ^ "Leicester 10–9 London Irish". BBC Sport. 16 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009.
  8. ^ "Leicester 16–19 Leinster". BBC Sport. 23 May 2009. Retrieved 27 May 2009.

External linksEdit