BBC Sport – Leicester Tigers: Freddie Burns heads five new signings

Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has confirmed the signing of five players, including Gloucester fly-half Freddie Burns.

The 24-year-old, England international moves to Welford Road as a replacement for Toulouse-bound Toby Flood.

Cockerill also revealed three signings from Treviso; utility back Christian Loamanu, and Italians Leonardo Ghiraldini and Robert Barbieri.

Freddie Burns

Freddie Burns kicked two penalties on his England debut against New Zealand, a 38-21 win, and has 37 points from his three caps

Castres fly-half Seremaia Bai, 35, also joins the Premiership semi-finalists.

Bai will compete for the Tigers number 10 shirt alongside Owen Williams and Burns, who scored 986 points in 134 appearances for Gloucester and will be looking to add to his three England caps on this summer’s tour of New Zealand.

“Everyone wants young English players, well, I’ve got one of the hottest talents at 10 in the English game,” Cockerill told

BBC Radio Leicester.

“When he’s as good as he can be, he’s as good as anybody. He’s coming to one of the toughest environments that will cut no quarter for him, so let’s see how he gets on.”

Burns’ departure from Gloucester, where he came through the youth ranks,

was confirmed in January

after he was linked with the Tigers.

Along with Owen Williams, he’ll be really good for us. He’s come to fight for his spot and if he plays better than Owen, he’ll play

Leicester director of rugby Richard Cockerill

“He’s had a difficult season for lots of reasons and he’s got a little bit of adjusting to do, getting used to what we do and learning that it’s about the team and not the individual, but he’s a fantastic player, a fantastic talent,” said Cockerill.

“Along with Owen Williams, he’ll be really good for us. He’s come to fight for his spot and if he plays better than Owen, he’ll play.”

Hooker Ghiraldini, and Canadian-born flanker Barbieri, both 29, are Italy internationals, while Tonga-born Loamanu, 28, has played for Japan and they will increase competition for places as Leicester rebuild after missing out on the Premiership final for the first time since 2004.

Details of the contracts signed by the quintet have yet to be disclosed by the club.

21 May 2014 | 7:07 pm – Source:

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