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Leicester coach Richard Cockerill hopes footballing counterparts sustain success

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill believes the city could become the country's new sporting capital if Leicester City can repeat their title charge next season.

Tigers host Stade Francais in the European Champions Cup quarter-final on Sunday with their city colleagues the Foxes also going to Sunderland.

Victory would put Claudio Ranieri's men 10 points clear at the top of the Barclays Premier League and three wins from a shock title triumph.

Tigers are aiming to win their first European Cup since 2002 and Cockerill believes sport in Leicester is booming.

"The interesting thing will be what happens next year with Leicester City. Hopefully they will go on and win the Premier League. It is like anything - sustaining that and doing it over a number of years is very difficult," he said.

"Leicester have got smart owners and owners who have got lots of money so they can certainly compete financially, it is just a matter of whether they want to. Football is a money game. Whether Leicester City have got the money of a Manchester City or Chelsea remains to be seen.

"They are clearly well coached and a mix of players who have been rejected from everywhere and seem to have found a home there. Now they have got the confidence, boring, boring Leicester keep winning 1-0. Whether they keep going is the million dollar question.

"There's a pretty good relationship between sporting clubs, whether it be basketball, cricket, football or rugby. It is fantastic and great for our grand city. Basketball are doing really well. As ever the rugby club are struggling through!

"We are not going to talk about them winning the league because that would put the mockers on them. It is fantastic."

Leicester striker Leonardo Ulloa has been spotted at Welford Road while several of the Tigers squad have made trips to the King Power Stadium this season.

Cockerill added: "A lot of lads go. We have season tickets through the Tigers but I never seem to win the draw on that one. The Argentinian boys know them through the Italian connection.

"Aaron (Mauger, head coach) has been a few times with his lads. The Kiwis seem to go to watch because it is a bit different for them. Watch (Scott) Hansen or Mauger play football, it is horrific."


From Belfast Telegraph