CASTROGIOVANNI AGREES NEW DEAL

Prop Martin Castrogiovanni has signed a new deal with Leicester tigers. The prop, 29, has become a key player and popular figure since joining in 2006, but his deal expires this summer.

Director of rugby Richard Cockerill feared Castrogiovanni would be lured away by a more lucrative offer.

But Castrogiovanni told the club’s website: “Money is not everything. I like it here and I always had in my mind that I wanted to stay.”

LEICESTER CLOSE TO SIGNING BROOKES

Leicester are close to signing Kieron Brookes from Newcastle after they agreed a deal with the club. Brookes, 20, signed a one-year deal at Newcastle in May and is also attracting interest from Munster and Leinster.

But Tigers director of rugby Richard Cockerill said the link to Brookes was just “speculation”.

“We are in process of doing all our signings. When we have signed them we will let you know,” he said.