Tigers await Meyer decision

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Leicester could lose the services of head coach Heyneke Meyer only months after appointing him as Marcelo Loffreda's successor.

Meyer is currently on compassionate leave in South Africa, where serious family illness has struck.

Forwards coach Richard Cockerill oversaw Tigers' 24-22 Guinness Premiership victory against Bath yesterday - and there does not appear to be any immediate sign of Meyer returning.

Leicester face midlands rivals Northampton next weekend, followed by critical Heineken Cup appointments with Treviso and the Ospreys later this month.

Meyer, who masterminded the Pretoria-based Blue Bulls' Super 14 title triumph in 2007, replaced Loffreda last summer.

Tigers chairman Peter Tom said: "Both of Heyneke's wife's parents are seriously ill, and he has gone back to assess the whole situation.

"We are happy to give him all the time he needs, and I don't think you can speculate.

"At the end of the day, we accept the family is priority, and the best thing is that Heyneke supports his family."

Cockerill added: "Heyneke left on Tuesday evening, but he planned the week and I have spoken to him throughout.

"We wish him the best and we respect his privacy."

It proved a mixed afternoon for two of Leicester's England contingent as flanker Tom Croft scored two tries - his second arrived in injury time to help complete a stunning fightback from 22-9 adrift - while centre Dan Hipkiss was carried off nursing a hamstring injury.

Lock Stuart Hooper, hooker Pieter Dixon and wing Joe Maddock scored tries for Bath - the west country club were far more adventurous in thought and deed - before Croft sparked Tigers' fightback.

England flanker Tom Rees was also in the wars, suffering a potentially serious knee injury during Wasps' 24-18 success against Harlequins at Adams Park.

And there was controversy surrounding the absence of Wasps' England wing Paul Sackey, who missed the game after being ruled out by England team doctor Mike Bundy.

Wasps rugby director Ian McGeechan intends speaking to England team manager Martin Johnson over the Sackey affair, while Rees' injury will be a major concern for both men.

But Wasps' prime frustration was over a quirk in the England elite players squad (EPS) agreement that forced them to make wholesale changes but allowed Harlequins to start with Nick Easter and Ugo Monye.

The agreement states all EPS members had to be rested for one Premiership game between rounds nine and 11. Wasps left out the bulk of their players at Sale last week - and were crushed 31-3 - before making nine changes for yesterday's game.

Easter and Monye played all four England Tests in the autumn but, as McGeechan understands it, they do not officially count as EPS members because they were technically injury replacements and therefore free to play throughout the festive season.

McGeechan said: "I don't understand how some players can play four internationals and be available for all three Premiership games - and other players who only played two internationals have to be rested for one game.

"They tell me if you are officially in the EPS squad it makes a difference - but that is not player welfare.

"If you have played four internationals in the autumn, the rest now is supposed to stop all that backing up.

"There has to be flexibility both sides, and Premier Rugby have to be flexible just as England have to be."

As for the Sackey saga, McGeechan added: "We will be following up the process. I wasn't happy with the process.

"They (England) asked him to do a fitness test, and as a result of that we agreed to withdraw him.

"He (Sackey) believes he was fitter on Saturday than he was before the South Africa Test in November."

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