Richard Cockerill announced as new Head Coach for Edinburgh Rugby
Richard Cockerill has been appointed Head Coach of Edinburgh Rugby with effect from the start of next season. The three-time Premiership winning coach has signed a two-year deal and will relocate to Scotland for the new role after his recent spell with Toulon.Edinburgh Acting Head Coach Duncan Hodge will remain in his current role until the end of the season and then return to his previous position as backs coach with the club.Edinburgh Rugby's assistant coaches Stevie Scott and Pete Wilkins remain in post.After two spells playing for Leicester and two years at Montferrand Cockerill spent 12 years in coaching roles at Leicester Tigers, rising through the ranks to become Head Coach in 2009 and then Director of Rugby in 2010.He led the team to Premiership semi-finals every season he was in charge and won back to back titles in 2009, 2010 and a subsequent title in 2013.During his time with the club he also reached the Heineken Cup Final in Edinburgh in 2009 and won the LV Cup in 2012.The 27 time-capped hooker for England was released by Leicester in January 2017 and immediately took up a consultancy role with Toulon in the French Top 14.Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson said: "I am very pleased to have secured Richard's services given how highly sought after he was from leading clubs across Europe.As a highly experienced, winning coach we targeted him and worked hard to ensure his talents could be secured for the benefit of Edinburgh Rugby.I believe his appointment clearly demonstrates our commitment to developing and maintaining success at our professional clubs in Scotland."The fact he has chosen Edinburgh Rugby as the next step in his career says everything about the shared vision we have for the club and his role in it."I'd like to thank Duncan Hodge for all his hard work with the club so far and look forward to him continuing to contribute to Edinburgh Rugby."Richard Cockerill said: "I am very much looking forward to a new challenge and the opportunity at Edinburgh Rugby ticked all the boxes.It's a real rugby city, and the club has a lot of potential to grow on, and off, the pitch.The conversations I had with Mark Dodson and Scott Johnson were instrumental in understanding what the vision for Edinburgh Rugby is and it is a project I'm excited to be a part of."I'm also relishing the chance of coaching in the Guinness PRO12, which is a new league for me, and working with a clearly talented group of players."Scottish Rugby Director of Rugby, Scott Johnson said: "It was important for us to ensure Edinburgh Rugby can develop a more consistent winning record and challenge for higher places in the Guinness PRO12."There is an ambitious group at Edinburgh, many of them young, Scottish players and I think they will benefit from Richard's experience."I believe we have strong roster of coaches now across the board in the professional game in Scotland and we look forward to seeing our teams progress and players develop, which ultimately will support the Scotland national team." Managing Director of Edinburgh Rugby, Jonny Petrie said:"This is an exciting period for Edinburgh Rugby. Richard's arrival will bring a fresh perspective to the playing group and I'm sure our fans will be encouraged we have secured someone with his track record to take the club forward."Duncan Hodge has been a consummate professional throughout his tenure as Acting Head Coach and I think our supporters and players will join me in thanking him and be pleased he will continue to contribute to the club."