Martin Castrogiovanni on his sour exit from Leicester Tigers
Former Welford Road fan favourite Martin Castrogiovanni has opened up on his bitter exit from Leicester Tigers on World Rugby’s Jersey Tales this week.
The former Italy tighthead had a glory laden seven year spell with the Tigers between 2006-13, winning four Premiership titles and being named the Premiership player of the season in his debut campaign. But it ended unceremoniously after a fallout with then head coach Richard Cockerill.
The 119-cap international clearly has a lot of affection for Leicester, saying “for me Leicester is my heart, and I always will love the club,” but that did not stop him launching a foul-mouthed tirade directed at Cockerill in December 2014 while with his new club Toulon.
After the move to Toulon, Castrogiovanni won back-to-back Heineken Champions Cups, but his love for Leicester shines through.
This is what he said:
“Then after six or seven years I’d been at Leicester, it got to a point where the team did not want you or the coach did not want you. I didn’t really get on with [Richard Cockerill] at the time and that’s it. I left the club not in the best way I was supposed to do but that is life. It’s what is hard for me. People were talking about leaving for the money, which is not true, I paid my own money to leave the club, because the club did not want me anymore, but that is life.
“What was really hard for me was when I came back to play with Toulon in Leicester, and I said that beautiful phrase which went out in all the papers, but yeah, that was a big love that did not finish that well. But I still love this club and I think this was one of my favourite clubs I played for, that’s the truth.”