Cockerill confident Goneva will stay
March 24, 2014
Leicester's Niki Goneva tries to make a break against Exeter © Getty Images
Leicester head coach Richard Cockerill says the club are a "long way down the line" to keeping winger Niki Goneva at Welford Road next season.
Goneva, who has scored 11 tries this season, was expected to leave Leicester this summer after an offer from French Top 14 champions Castres. But the Tigers have been fighting to keep their man and Cockerill believes something more than money will be the deciding factor in Goneva's future.
Cockerill said: "Niki is not under contract to anybody next season and, at this point, we are a long way down the line to sorting that out. In the world of recruitment, I never say never until it is written down and the ink is dry - but I am as confident as I can be.
"Niki is a Fijian Test player but he came from Tarbes to this club, and we made a huge effort to get him here.
"We have a good environment and we give him an opportunity to play in these big games. We look after him both mentally and physically but we are not going to match the French financially, none of us are in the Premiership. But not all the glistens is gold. We can offer good coaching and a good environment."
Goneva scored one try and was instrumental in setting up two more as Leicester overran Exeter 45-15 at Welford Road yesterday. Cockerill was keen to praise Goneva's performance: "You saw him out there [against Exeter], he is enjoying himself and he wants to be part of this team because he likes it. For me, there is a huge amount of value in that.
"We are also a big club, let's not get away from that. People want to play for us."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd
Communication error please reload the page.
Anthony Joshua will return to the ring following a five-month layoff to face Jason Gavern at Newcastle's Metro Radio Arena on April 4 in preparation for his rescheduled showdown with Kevin Johnson
Jenson Button was in an optimistic mood following Friday practice in Malaysia after seeing McLaren make a step forward from its dismal Australian Grand Prix pace
England full-back Mike Brown has been ruled out of Harlequins' Premiership showdown with Saracens at Wembley after showing signs of concussion after the Six Nations win over France
Three Real Madrid fans are set to be fined €3,001 each and banned from attending all games for six months after kicking and punching the cars of Blancos players, including that of Gareth Bale, on the night of the team's 2-1 defeat at Barcelona
The Lions have rounded out a fine Australasian tour with a third win from four matches, an 18-17 triumph over the struggling Queensland Reds in Brisbane
Who has driven in the most GPs before taking pole position?
Mudslinging and an agreement on something that will never happen, it's all in a day's work for a Formula One boss, as Maurice Hamilton explains...
Fallout continues from the NSW-Brumbies derby, with one Tahs forward - not Potgieter - surprised by other unsavoury comments during the game, Greg Growden reports
Greg Growden previews Super Rugby round 7. We've also got key stats, team news and all the line-ups to inform your ESPN Footytips Super Rugby picks
Will Mercedes dominate again? Can anybody catch up with the help of a rainstorm? And will the Red Bull/Renault relationship tear itself apart? All those questions and more will be answered at this weekend's Malaysian Grand Prix
Tiger Woods is confident of recovering from a poor run of form to qualify for the US Ryder Cup team in 2016, according to captain Davis Love III
Jonas Gutierrez has told Canal+ he will never forgive Newcastle for the way the club treated him during his battle with cancer, but wants to stay at St James' Park beyond this summer
Lionel Messi earned more than €1 million (£740,000) a week last year to make him the world's highest-paid player and Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho was the best-paid coach, according to a new survey
Andy Murray has expressed fears that his game will regress without full-time coaching in a candid exchange with a fellow Twitter user as he prepares to add former world No.4 Jonas Bjorkman to his coaching team
Luis Suarez has laughed off the idea that the Barcelona players have set out to help Lionel Messi beat Cristiano Ronaldo to La Liga's top scorer award
Unbeaten heavyweight Dillian Whyte, 28, (14-0, 11 KOs) tells ESPN where his rivalry with Anthony Joshua stems from and outlines the plan for his career this year after returning from a doping ban in November
Some of the best fighters to ever glove up have plied their trade in the Octagon - now ESPN list the 10 best who have fought under the UFC banner
Who was the first Briton to win the British Grand Prix?
Where does Anthony Davidson's record of 24 Grands Prix without a point rank him?
How many F1 drivers have had one win, but done it at their home Grand Prix?