Thursday 17 October 2019

Castres pair cited as Murphy gets Tigers job on permanent basis

Geordan Murphy. Photo: PA
Geordan Murphy. Photo: PA

Rúaidhrí O'Connor

The fallout from Munster's contentious defeat in France rumbled on yesterday as Castres Olympique pair Rory Kockott and Marc-Antoine Rallier were cited for alleged foul-play.

Both men now face the prospect of missing rounds five and six of the Heineken Champions Cup, with the French champions in a four-way battle for qualification for the quarter-finals with Munster, Gloucester and Exeter Chiefs.

Scrum-half Kockott has been charged with allegedly making contact with the eye area of Munster flanker Chris Cloete in the 21st minute of a bad-tempered match. If found guilty, the South African-born France international could face at least 12 weeks out.

Replacement hooker Rallier has been charged with dangerous tackling for the effort on Peter O'Mahony that saw him sent to the sin-bin by Wayne Barnes. The pair will learn their fate in Paris today.

Meanwhile, former Ireland full-back Geordan Murphy has been handed the job of coaching Leicester Tigers on a full-time basis despite their recent slump in form.

The club legend stepped into the role on an interim basis when Matt O'Connor was sacked earlier this season, but the club's results have deteriorated further and they are currently eight games without a win - their worst record since 1975.

"From my experience, it is the lowest ebb in the time that I have been here - so 20-odd years. It's really tough," Murphy, who played 322 times for Leicester, said.

"We are on an horrific run, confidence is low and Harlequins will come here next Saturday and really sense blood in the water. We need to learn our lessons, we can't concede as easily as we did.

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"The players are working hard in training and working hard on the field, but we are making silly errors in attack and defence. It is a huge honour to be asked to be head coach at a club I know so well. This club means a lot to me, I've been here a long time and we all want to enjoy success with the Tigers," Murphy added.

"For me, performances on the field begin with the pride, passion and commitment you want to see from a Leicester Tigers team. It is about that passion for the shirt."

The Naas native has been part of the coaching staff since he retired from playing in 2013 at the end of a career that saw him play 72 times for Ireland.

With Leicester effectively out of the running in Europe, Murphy's primary focus will be keeping them up.

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