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    Pat Howard’s Replacement at Leicester is

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    <TD>@@@@SPAN =article id=storytitle>LOFFREDA SAYS 'YES' TO TIGERS @@@@/SPAN></TD></TR>
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    <TD></TD></TR><!-Task #793 -Story Comments - START->
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    <TD></TD></TR><!-Task #793 -Story Comments - END->
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    <TD vAlign=top>@@@@SPAN>BY MARTIN CROWSON &amp; CHRIS GODDARD
    WWW.RUGBYROAR.COM

    10:30 - 01 March 2007 @@@@/SPAN></TD></TR><!-Task# 668 - Quizzes - START-><!-Task# 668 - Quizzes - END->
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    <TD>@@@@SPAN id=main1>Argentina coach Marcelo Loffreda has agreed to take charge of Leicester Tigers.

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    <TD align=left></TD></TR></T></TABLE>@@@@SPAN id=main2>Although the Pumas boss has yet to sign a contract, the Mercury understands the 47-year-old will take up his new role as head coach at Welford Road after the World Cup.

    Loffreda wants to speak personally to the Argentina RFU president, and his boss at sportswear company Topper, before informing Tigers of his decision.

    Loffreda, currently in France with the Pumas for a game against the French Barbarians, held talks with Leicester when Argentina played Tigers last month.

    He said at the time: "If I receive an offer, and it's a good one, I could think about it very seriously. I will go back to my country and think about it."

    Tigers declined to comment but the Mercury understands that, after speaking with his wife and five children, Loffreda decided to succeed Pat Howard, who returns to Australia at the end of the season.

    Forwards coach Richard Cockerill will be placed in charge of team affairs at the start of next season until Loffreda arrives following the World Cup, which takes place in France next September and October.

    In his seven years in charge, Loffreda has turned Argentina from also-rans to the sixth-ranked country in the world.

    His appointment will get the blessing of Les Cusworth, the former Tigers fly-half who is now Argentina's director of rugby.

    While in Leicester with Argentina, Cusworth said: "He is one of the longest-serving international coaches and, under him, we have beaten France four times out of the last five times we have played them. He is very thorough.

    "He's a good coach and a very principled man. Very straight."

    Tigers' Argentinian prop Marcos Ayerza will be delighted that Loffreda has agreed to come.

    He said: "I spoke to him when Leicester played Argentina and I said 'come'. It would be a big move for him, for his life and family, everything.

    "It's a challenge for him to come to a professional rugby club to see how he can manage this great club. I think he will succeed and be a great coach.

    "Although in Argentina we have an amateur scheme, our national team is very professional in how we work. I think he will be really good."

    Ayerza says Loffreda has told the Argentina RFU he would leave after the World Cup.

    "Last year he told them that, after the World Cup, he was going to leave, so the Argentina Rugby Union is prepared for his leaving.

    "I think they will miss him and maybe ask him to stay - but it's his decision.

    "He is very well liked in Argentina. He is well recognised, everyone recognises his hard work and results. They are very happy with him."

    Ayerza said Loffreda's secret was hard work.

    "He is one of the best coaches in the world. He is a very hard-working man.

    "He is a very serious professional coach and I like him very much. He studies the game and I think he can fit into a professional club like Leicester and be a great coach for Leicester.

    "In the last few years he has done a great job for Argentina. He has not just had great results but he has improved our game. I am keen to see him come to Leicester."
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    #2
    I thought it was going to be Enrico Palazzo[img]smileys/sad.gif[/img]



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      #3
      Possible replacement for Eddie in a couple of years....
      Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

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        #4
        Howard?

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          #5
          Loffreda
          Excellence is hard to keep quite - Sherrie Coale

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