Mathew Tait move to Leicester still on - Cockerill

Mathew Tait
Tait has won 38 caps for England

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill says a deal to bring centre Mathew Tait to Welford Road is still likely to go ahead this summer.

The 25-year-old ex-Newcastle and Sale man has been training with the Tigers.

Cockerill told BBC Radio Leicester: "He has been doing his rehab for his shoulder with us.

"We're making sure that's all as it should be and I would say the likelihood is Mat will be a Tigers player next season."

The England international, who played in the 2007 World Cup, started just three times in the Premiership last season after knee surgery last year and a dislocated shoulder in January.

"We are making sure it's right but as far as I am aware his shoulder is going to be good," added Cockerill.

Leicester have been linked with a move for Tait since he was released by Sale Sharks earlier this year and the departure of Dan Hipkiss for Bath next season creates a place in Tigers' squad.

Tait made his professional debut for Newcastle Falcons in 2004 and received his first England cap against Wales in the 2005 Six Nations, when the then 18-year-old was unceremoniously upended by Gavin Henson.

He has since played 38 times for England, 19 of those as starts, and last represented his country in the 27-17 defeat by Australia in Perth last summer.

"He's a young man and I think the best is still yet to come from Mat, so we hope that this is in that environment.

"For whatever reason, the last 12 to 24 months haven't been the best for him but he's got a lot of experience and he is a very, very good player.

"We are hoping that all works out but I am pretty sure he will be with us next year."

Last week , with Newcastle pair of prop Kieran Brookes and scrum-half Micky Young and Worcester second row Graham Kitchener all heading to Welford Road this summer.