Rugby

Richard Cockerill says Leicester Tigers must ‘show backbone’ after several injuries

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According to Richard Cockerill, the Leicester director of rugby, the resolve of his team will be tested by the growing injuries of its members.

Among the injured include winger, Niall Morris, Geoff Parling and England hooker Tom Youngs, Niall Morris was injured in the ankle, Tom had a problem with his shoulder while Geoff Parling had a concussion. They were hurt in the 45-0 defeat on Saturday at Bath. Others also include Anthony Allen and Ed Slater.

“We need to show some steel and backbone. We need to get out there, do what we do and keep the critics quiet. Those that want to throw mud can throw it, and we will just get on with it,” Cockerill told BBC East Midlands Wednesday.

Leicester has witnessed quite a number of injuries in the recent past. Brad Thorn, the dual-code international, is among the Leicester summer signings yet to make an appearance for the team.

Saremaia Bai, Miles Benjamin, Christian Loamanu, back-rower Laurence Pearce and Italian prop Michele Rizzo are among those who are nearing full-fitness after being injured.

But Cockerill maintains that he will not excuse his side if they fail to respond to their record Premiership defeat last week, the long injury list notwithstanding. They are facing London Irish on Saturday at Welford Road.

“We have a side more than capable of going out and performing on Saturday and getting a result,” he said.

“Let’s concentrate on that. Whoever is missing is missing, we can’t control that at this point. We will patch up what we have got and crack on.

“I’m sure they will look at our team sheet and fancy their chances, but we have had that before on lots of occasions and against a lot of sides,” he added.

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