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- Aviva Premiership
- 23rd Mar 2014
- KO 14:00
- Ground: Welford Road
- Att: 23,466
Aviva Premiership: Richard Cockerill hopeful on Vereniki Goneva deal
We are not going to match the French financially, none of us in the Premiership can, but what we can offer him is good coaching and a good environment. You saw today, he is enjoying himself. He wants to be part of this team because he likes it. We are a big club, let's not forget that.
Quotes of the week
- Saturday's Aviva Prem preview
- Ryan rues 'painful' defeat
- Diamond plays down top four
- McCall questions officials
- Special praise for Ford
- Richards rues slow start
- Late sting wounds Worcester
- Sarries sweep aside Quins
- Late bonus for Bath
- Tigers too strong for Exeter
- Gloucester hold off Newcastle
- Sharks shock Saints
Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill remains hopeful of holding on to winger Vereniki Goneva despite interest from France.
The Fijian, who scored a try in the 45-15 defeat of Exeter at Welford Road on Sunday, has been heavily linked with a move to Castres at the end of the season.
But Cockerill insists contract talks with the 29-year-old, who signed from Tarbes in 2012, are ongoing.
He said: "Niki is not under contract to anyone at this point for next season, but we are a long way down the line to sorting that out, so I am hopeful that will be the case.
"In the world of rugby never say never, so until it's signed I am as confident as I can be. But I am always slightly more pessimistic than optimistic.
"We have got a good environment here. Niki came from Tarbes and we gave him the opportunity. He was in the shop-window, we look after him and we pay him as well.
"We are not going to match the French financially, none of us in the Premiership can, but what we can offer him is good coaching and a good environment.
"You saw today, he is enjoying himself. He wants to be part of this team because he likes it. We are a big club, let's not forget that."
Cockerill added that the return of Tuilagi for his first home game since September after a chest muscle injury was a major boost to his team.
He said: "We caught Exeter at the right time. We thought if we got it right physically after the couple of weeks they have had, physically and emotionally, we could dominate the gain-line, and we did.
"That was probably as well as we have played ball in hand for a long time."
Leicester closed the gap on second placed Northampton, who they meet next week, to 10 points and Cockerill has not ruled out catching the Saints in the table.
"If we get over the line next week it makes it interesting," he said. "Two weeks ago I would have said the top two would have been the top two at the end. We will see."
Exeter boss Rob Baxter admitted the defeat had brought his side down to earth with a bump after their LV= Cup triumph last week.
"It was the cold bath we needed," he said. "That shocked us back to reality. We were just off and if you are a bit off against a good Leicester side you will pay the price.
"That's what happened. We got knocked out of our stride early on and it took us a while to recover. We did but we could not sustain it for long enough. I am hoping it was the shock we need."
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|Friday 6th March|
|19:45||Bath vs Sale Sharks|
|Saturday 7th March|
|15:00||Exeter vs London Welsh|
|15:00||Harlequins vs London Irish|
|15:15||Gloucester vs Northampton|
|Sunday 8th March|
|14:00||Wasps vs Saracens|
|15:00||Newcastle Falcons vs Leicester Tigers|
|Friday 27th March|
|19:45||Northampton vs Wasps|
|Saturday 28th March|
|15:00||London Irish vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Leicester vs Exeter|
|15:15||Saracens vs Harlequins|
|Sunday 29th March|
|14:00||Sale vs Gloucester|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Bath|
|Friday 10th April|
|19:45||Newcastle vs Bath|
|Saturday 11th April|
|15:00||Harlequins vs Gloucester|
|15:15||Saracens vs Leicester|
|Sunday 12th April|
|14:00||Exeter vs Northampton|
|14:30||London Welsh vs Wasps|
|15:00||London Irish vs Sale|
|Saturday 25th April|
|14:00||Sale vs Harlequins|
|15:00||Gloucester vs Newcastle|
|15:00||Bath vs London Irish|
|15:00||Northampton vs Saracens|
|15:00||Leicester vs London Welsh|
|Sunday 26th April|
|14:00||Wasps vs Exeter|
|Saturday 9th May|
|14:00||Sale vs Newcastle|
|Sunday 1st March|
|Wasps 32 - 21 Gloucester|
|Saturday 28th February|
|Exeter 16 - 6 Bath|
|Saracens 22 - 17 Newcastle Falcons|
|Leicester Tigers 28 - 8 Sale Sharks|
|London Welsh 12 - 50 London Irish|
|Friday 27th February|
|Northampton 17 - 13 Harlequins|
|Sunday 22nd February|
|London Irish 6 - 12 Leicester Tigers|
|Saturday 21st February|
|Bath 13 - 21 Northampton|
|Harlequins 21 - 32 Exeter|
|Gloucester 48 - 10 London Welsh|
|Sale Sharks 14 - 10 Saracens|
|Friday 20th February|
|Newcastle 23 - 23 Wasps|
|Sunday 15th February|
|Wasps 37 - 6 Harlequins|
|London Welsh 12 - 52 Sale|
|Saracens 34 - 24 Bath|
|Saturday 14th February|
|Exeter 46 - 17 Newcastle|
|Friday 13th February|
|Leicester 18 - 15 Gloucester|
|Northampton 15 - 9 London Irish|
|Sunday 11th January|
|London Irish 28 - 26 Exeter|
|Newcastle 38 - 7 London Welsh|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com