HIGHLY-RATED CLERMONT Auvergne coach Vern Cotter today ruled himself out of the running for the Ireland coaching role vacated by Declan Kidney.
The New Zealand-born Cotter had been linked as a possible contender for the post in tandem with his former Clermont assistant and now Leinster coach Joe Schmidt. But Cotter told Radio Sport he has another year to go with Clermont and he intends to honour his contract, the broadcaster said on its website.
Cotter, who earned his coaching stripes as an assistant with the Canterbury Crusaders in Super Rugby, has previously been linked with All Blacks and England coaching positions.
The IRFU opted not to renew Kidney’s contract after Ireland finished fifth in the Six Nations championship and slumped to ninth in the world rankings.
Writing in the Irish Independent, former Ireland flyhalf Tony Ward advised the IRFU to go for the Cotter-Schmidt combination.
“Given their track record, the dynamic would be right, provided they are given carte blanche to appoint their own back-room team,” he said.
Australian Ewen McKenzie, once tipped as a likely replacement for Robbie Deans with the Wallabies, is the bookmakers’ favourite to replace Kidney.