Tigers finally lose faith in Cockerill
Leicester have sacked director of rugby Richard Cockerill, with head coach Aaron Mauger taking "interim charge" at Welford Road.
The Tigers have dropped out of the Premiership's play-off berths after consecutive defeats to Exeter and Saracens, following closely from the record 38-0 European defeat at the hands of Munster.
Former England hooker Cockerill has coached at Leicester since 2004 and took the full reins as rugby director in 2010.
Leicester's slender 16-12 defeat to Saracens at Welford Road on New Year's Day proved the final straw for the Tigers board, who have moved swiftly to unseat their former front-rower Cockerill.
"It is with great sadness and regret that I leave my position as director of rugby with immediate effect," said Cockerill.
"I still believe that I am the right person to lead the team at this present time but respect the board's decision to make the change as they see fit in the best interests of the club.
"I wish to thank the club and in particular (chief executive) Simon Cohen and (chairman) Peter Tom for giving me the opportunity to lead this great club and the support they have given me in the last seven years."