Saints coach West sad to see Cockerill sacked by Leicester

Dorian West (picture: Sharon Lucey)

Dorian West (picture: Sharon Lucey)

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Dorian West says it is sad to see Richard Cockerill leave Leicester Tigers.

And the Saints forwards coach feels Cockerill’s departure is a sign of the pressure being placed on the east midlands rivals by clubs with bigger budgets.

Cockerill was sacked by Leicester on Monday, bringing his near-eight-year spell in charge of the club to an end.

Tigers are currently sitting fifth in the Aviva Premiership, four points above sixth-placed Saints.

And West, who competed for a starting spot with Cockerill during his time at Leicester as a hooker, said: “It’s sad to see someone like Cockers leave a job like that.

“They are tough jobs and teams in the middle part of the table, we’re all under pressure to keep up with the teams who are probably bigger financially than we are at the minute and who are winning games at the top of the league.

“We’re all under that pressure and we’re all having to work as hard as we can to get the results we need to stay in touch with them.

“Cockers, to be fair to him, is one that has maintained that attitude, that hard-nosed approach to the game that Leicester have.

“A lot of that has come down to him over the past few years and they’ve won a lot of games you didn’t think they’d have a chance of winning so fair play to him and we wish him all the best for what he does next.”

While Leicester have opted to make a change, Saints’ board have continually stressed their faith in director of rugby Jim Mallinder and forwards coach West, who took charge at Franklin’s Gardens in 2007.

And West said: “We’ve made a few changes over the years here and there, and it is important to keep things going.

“We’re working as hard as we ever were, we’re as keen as ever and we just need to make sure we carry on producing the players and performances we need.”