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Vern Cotter to take over as Fiji rugby head coach

Chairman Francis Kean says the acquisition is ‘an investment and a coup’ for the country.

Vern Cotter (file pic).
Vern Cotter (file pic).
Image: Paul Harding

FORMER SCOTLAND RUGBY mentor Vern Cotter was announced on Tuesday as the new Fiji coach.

Fiji Rugby Union chairman Francis Kean said the acquisition is “an investment and a coup” for the country.

New Zealand-born Cotter replaces compatriot John McKee, who had been in charge since 2014.

“Mr Cotter presented a thorough and detailed plan to take the team to new levels of success and we were impressed by his vision and expectations of what can be achieved by the programme,” Kean said.

Cotter, currently head coach with French Top 14 side Montpellier, came to prominence as forwards coach with the successful Canterbury Crusaders Super Rugby side between 2005 and 2006.

He then spent eight years in France with Clermont Auvergne, winning the Top 14 crown in 2009-10, before taking over as coach of Scotland in 2014 until 2017 where he had a 53% win rate, with 19 wins from 36 matches.

Cotter, who has coached a number of Fijian players during his time in France, said he is looking forward to developing and strengthening the national team.

“Fiji rugby has come a long way in the last few years and I am looking forward to the opportunity to work with the talent within the national teams and enhance the competitiveness of Fiji on the world stage,” he said.

Cotter is expected to arrive in Fiji following the completion of his contract with Montpellier and in time for the Fijian Test against Tonga on July 4.

© – AFP, 2020 

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