Richard Cockerill confirms George Chuter likely to leave Leicester Tigers
Leicester Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill has said that hooker George Chuter is likely to leave the club this summer.
Tigers have signed London Welsh's Neil Briggs to add to in-contract duo Rob Hawkins and Tom Youngs.
Cockerill says that 36-year-old Chuter, who holds the record for the most number of Premiership appearances with 260, is likely to be playing his rugby elsewhere next season.
"George has been fantastic for us," said Cockerill. "He came to the club at a time when there were lots of hookers here and he had to fight for his spot.
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"The amount of games he has played in the Premiership speaks volumes for his robustness and his character.
"He has been a fantastic player who has played for England and in Premiership-winning sides.
"For a guy who does not seem overly competitive on the outside, he is a very strong character. If he moves on and, at this point, the likelihood is that he probably won't stay, we will miss him.
"He has been a fantastic character within the squad and a fantastic player. But there comes a point in everyone's career, when it is best to move on or do other things.
"Whatever happens, George will be dealt with properly and if he wants to continue playing, we will help him do that. But, at this point, it won't be with us."
Cockerill added that the potential deal that could see prop Martin Castrogiovanni join French Top 14 side, Toulon was "dormant" but that he still expected it to go ahead.
The 31-year-old returns to the club this week after being on Italian duty during the Six Nations.
"We are still waiting for the paperwork to come though but Toulon are keen to have him and he is keen to make it work," said Cockerill.
"We are in the process of finding replacements and making the squad fit from a playing and financial point of view."