"International head coach" - Richard Cockerill takes on third new role in 12 months - Ruck

“International head coach” – Richard Cockerill takes on third new role in 12 months

In a major coaching shake-up, former England hooker and forwards coach Richard Cockerill has taken the helm as head coach for Georgia and assumed charge of their domestic squad, Black Lion.

Cockerill, 53, brings a wealth of experience from his tenure as part of the England coaching staff under Eddie Jones, where he even stepped in as interim head coach following Jones’ departure in December 2022.

Notably, he steered Leicester to three titles in 2007, 2009, and 2010, and has previously led teams such as Toulon, Edinburgh, and Montpellier.

Despite Georgia’s current world ranking at 14th, the team faced a challenging World Cup last year, concluding at the bottom of Pool C during the tournament in France. Their performance included a draw against Portugal and losses in the remaining three group matches.

Cockerill is set to make his debut as head coach with Georgia in a crucial match against Germany during the Rugby Europe Championship 2024 Finals on February 4. Meanwhile, Black Lion, Georgia’s domestic side, competes in the Rugby Europe Super Cup, positioned as the third tier of continental competition, just beneath the prestigious Champions Cup and Challenge Cup.

A former England hooker with 27 international appearances between 1997 and 1999, Cockerill remains an iconic figure from his playing days and was a key contributor to the Leicester team’s success in the 1990s.

2024 Six Nations poll:

Fans all-time Six Nations XV


Fullback: Stuart Hogg (Scotland) – 50%

Winger: Shane Williams (Wales) – 51%

Winger: Jason Robinson (England) – 33%

DID YOU KNOW? Robinson is nicknamed ‘Billy Whizz‘ after a character in the British comic The Beano, who is an extremely fast runner.


  • Outside-centre: Brian O’Driscoll (Ireland) – 88%
  • Inside-centre: Jamie Roberts (Wales) – 34%

DID YOU KNOW? Brian O’Driscoll is the 8th-highest try scorer in international rugby union history, and the highest scoring centre of all time.