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Dan Cole eyes perfect coaching team blend to lift Leicester Tigers

Dan Cole insists Leicester must persist with a coaching team blend of Tigers stalwarts alongside an overseas recruit in the mould of Eddie Jones if they are to reverse this season's sharp decline.

A record 43-0 collapse to Glasgow at Welford Road on Saturday ended their Champions Cup group campaign with a defeat described by Cole as one of the worst in a proud history that includes two European titles.

The fallout from the rout continued three days later when Leicester revealed they had suspended lock Ed Slater for two weeks for striking following an internal disciplinary hearing.

Richard Cockerill was sacked earlier this month, leaving his assistant Aaron Mauger in interim control while the board considers who to place in charge.

World Cup-winning captain and Leicester great Martin Johnson is among those to be linked with the role and Cole looks to the success of Jones with England for evidence of the impact an overseas voice can have.

"Eddie, an Australian, has been able to take over the England team and win," Cole said.

"At Leicester, we're probably at our best with a Richard Cockerill and Dean Richards supplemented by a Matt O'Connor or Aaron Mauger - someone who gets more out of us than just traditional Leicester ways.

"There are some very good things at the club that you just don't throw away because you need them, but we work best when you have a marriage of the outside with the inside.

"We need to find someone who marries Leicester's traditional identity to what you need in the modern game - someone like Eddie with England, who doesn't make us play like Australia."

It has been three-and-a-half years since Leicester have won the Aviva Premiership crown - they have lifted the trophy four times in total - and they last visited the final of the Champions Cup in 2009, losing to Wasps.

The glory days are an ever-more distant memory this season with a thrashing by Glasgow in Scotstoun followed by resounding losses to Munster, Exeter and Racing 92. But it is Saturday's mauling by the Scots that has caused Cole most anguish.

"It wasn't one of the finest moments of my rugby career. Aaron Mauger says it was an embarrassment," the England tighthead said.

"We came up against a very good Glasgow side, but it shouldn't have been a 43-0. We should be better than that. It was probably one of the worst defeats in the club's history.

"Unfortunately, it's not out of the blue. We've had a couple of poor results now. It is not so much a shock, but it is a wake-up call.

"It's not just a recruitment thing. When you lose 43-0, it's more than one thing that's the problem. I think it is a combination of everything really."

When asked if recent results could indicate long-term malaise at Welford Road, Cole said: "I would hope not.

"The core of the group, the coaches, the board, the fans, the players won't accept being mediocre. The fan base will not accept us being average."


From Belfast Telegraph