Leicester show no sentiment by axing Geordan Murphy

Richard Cockerill denies veteran full-back the chance to go out on a high in the Premiership final

The nearest Leicester come to sentimentality is allowing an old-stager to leave a Tuesday training session with each of his four limbs in full working order, so there was never much chance of the rugby director, Richard Cockerill, wiping a tear from his eye as he consigned Geordan Murphy to the past tense ahead of Saturday's Premiership final with Northampton.

"Geordan has done his bit," Cockerill said of the celebrated Irish full-back – the implication being that he would not be doing any more.

Murphy, the modern-day equivalent of the old-fashioned "one-club man", retires at the end of the season and has already been offered a job on the Leicester coaching staff. What he has not been offered is a place in the team for the East Midlands derby to end them all.

"If Geordan was the best player available, he'd be in the team," Cockerill said. "At the moment, his form doesn't merit that. This occasion is not about Geordan or any of the people who are leaving us: Matt O'Connor [the Leinster-bound attack coach], or Martin Castrogiovanni [the folk-hero prop]. It's about the club, and about becoming champions."

Cockerill was casting his mind back to the Premiership showpiece in 2005, when Leicester finished a distant second to Wasps. "Everyone spent the week talking about the fact that it was Martin Johnson's last game for the club, and Neil Back's too," he said. "Wasps? They kept their heads down during the build-up and won 39-14. We have to concentrate on the detail, not the emotion."

Unless something untoward happens in training, the Leicester No 15 shirt will be worn by Mathew Tait – a player with a brilliant future ahead of him rather than behind him, even though he has been around the block enough times to have been used and abused by more than one England coach and had more than his share of dark days on the injury front.

Tait's resurgence has been one of the glories of the season, to the extent that he has the look of England's 2015 World Cup full-back about him. Was Cockerill surprised that the red rose coach Stuart Lancaster declined to pick him for the forthcoming Test series in Argentina?

"Actually, I think it's a blessing in disguise for Mathew," the former hooker replied. "Everyone knows how good he can be. The important thing for him now is that he concentrates on building his game, keeping himself together physically and maintaining the robust approach we're seeing from him at the moment. If he does that and keeps playing the way he is, there could be something for him with England next season."

Leaving aside a couple of long-term casualties, most notably the lock Louis Deacon, the Tigers go into this last hurrah with a clean bill of health.

Adam Thompstone is fit and will contest the left-wing berth with the Fijian strike runner Vereniki Goneva. So too is the second-rower Ed Slater, one of Lancaster's uncapped recruits for the Argentina tour.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton: The power dynamics of the two first families

Jeb Bush vs Hillary Clinton

Karen Tumulty explores the power dynamics of the two first families
Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley with a hotbed of technology start-ups

Stockholm is rivalling Silicon Valley

The Swedish capital is home to two of the most popular video games in the world, as well as thousands of technology start-ups worth hundreds of millions of pounds – and it's all happened since 2009
Did Japanese workers really get their symbols mixed up and display Santa on a crucifix?

Crucified Santa: Urban myth refuses to die

The story goes that Japanese store workers created a life-size effigy of a smiling "Father Kurisumasu" attached to a facsimile of Our Lord's final instrument of torture
Jennifer Saunders and Kate Moss join David Walliams on set for TV adaptation of The Boy in the Dress

The Boy in the Dress: On set with the stars

Walliams' story about a boy who goes to school in a dress will be shown this Christmas
La Famille Bélier is being touted as this year's Amelie - so why are many in the deaf community outraged by it?

Deaf community outraged by La Famille Bélier

The new film tells the story of a deaf-mute farming family and is being touted as this year's Amelie
10 best high-end laptops

10 best high-end laptops

From lightweight and zippy devices to gaming beasts, we test the latest in top-spec portable computers
Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

Michael Carberry: ‘After such a tough time, I’m not sure I will stay in the game’

The batsman has grown disillusioned after England’s Ashes debacle and allegations linking him to the Pietersen affair
Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

Susie Wolff: A driving force in battle for equality behind the wheel

The Williams driver has had plenty of doubters, but hopes she will be judged by her ability in the cockpit
Adam Gemili interview: 'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

'No abs Adam' plans to muscle in on Usain Bolt's turf

After a year touched by tragedy, Adam Gemili wants to become the sixth Briton to run a sub-10sec 100m
Calls for a military mental health 'quality mark'

Homeless Veterans campaign

Expert calls for military mental health 'quality mark'
Racton Man: Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman

Meet Racton Man

Analysis shows famous skeleton was a 6ft Bronze Age superman
Garden Bridge: St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters

Garden Bridge

St Paul’s adds to £175m project’s troubled waters
Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament: An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel

Stuff your own Christmas mouse ornament

An evening class in taxidermy with a festive feel
Joint Enterprise: The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice

Joint Enterprise

The legal doctrine which critics say has caused hundreds of miscarriages of justice
Freud and Eros: Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum: Objects of Desire

Freud and Eros

Love, Lust and Longing at the Freud Museum