Rugby Union: TIGERS, TIGERS BURNING BRIGHT; LEICESTER ROW EXCLUSIVE Moody: We had heart-to-heart talks to get rid of club's poison.
ENGLAND star Lewis Moody has told how Leicester staged an 'honesty session' in an to attempt to clear the air following last season's 'poisonous' campaign.
Moody's revelation came as Andy Goode, who quit Leicester for French club Brive this summer, accused Tigers forwards coach Richard Cockerill of working against former boss Marcelo Loffreda.
Loffreda, who guided Argentina to a brilliant third place at the 2007 World Cup, was ruthlessly sacked after less than a season in charge at Welford Road.
He paid the price for Leicester's failure to land a trophy - despite reaching two Twickenham cup finals.
Goode said: "There were problems behind the scenes. Richard Cockerill undermining Marcelo throughout the year and things like that.
"Marcelo would have been a fantastic director of rugby but he found coaching hard - not surprising when his forwards coach wasn't fully supporting him."
Moody admits there was unrest before the arrival as new boss of top South African coach Heyneke Meyer.
"Last year we had a huge squad to keep happy - 56 players - and a guy who had only ever looked after 23 players at any time," he said.
"So a lot of guys were disappointed and that created a lot of negativity.
"When Heyneke took over we sat down as a club and talked about our goals for the season, as you do every year. But it was a lot more honest this time.
"We talked about why we thought we had underachieved, what we thought other people thought of us and what we thought of ourselves. We came out of it a lot tighter and as one in our goal.
"We know where we were going wrong. We were getting a bit misled. We needed that honesty session to clear the air and stop all that poison."
Ironically, Cockerill is the only coach to survive the summer cull and the former England hooker retains Moody's support.
"I've always liked the way Cockers coaches," said the flanker, who misses the start of the campaign due to injury.
"He's forthright, he says it as it is. Heyneke's obviously the main man but Cockers is there to give an understanding of the Leicester mentality and culture."
Leicester are joint-second favourites with Gloucester, behind champions Wasps, for Guinness Premiership glory this season.
And Cockerill, who admits he feared for his job when Meyer first arrived, is convinced new broom Meyer will sweep away last term's unhappy memories.
He said: "The culture of hard work is back with us. Heyneke has instilled that from day one.
"Players need to be led and given direction and he is a hard taskmaster. He knows what he wants and he knows how to get there.
"He doesn't talk rubbish. What you see is what you get and that's great for us because it is the sort of environment we need."
PLAIN SPEAKING Lewis Moody says Leicester are determined to get their act together; Marcelo Loffredo (left) and Richard Cockerill were at loggerheads, says Andy Goode (right)