Fiji Names Vern Cotter Rugby Head Coach
Former Scotland coach New Zealand-born Vern Cotter, 58, has been named the new head coach of the Fiji rugby team, Associated Press reports in a story published by The Japan Times.
Cotter succeeds Australian John McKee, who was head coach from 2014 and whose contract ended in December, AP reports.
Cotter coached French club Clermont to the Top 14 title in 2010 after leading it to the final in three previous seasons. He has coached Montpellier in France since 2017, guiding it to the Top 14 final in 2018. His contract at Montpellier ends in June, ahead of Fiji’s first test of the season against Tonga on 4 July.
He had a 53 per cent success rate in his four years as Scotland head coach, winning 19 of his 36 matches in charge. But that was the best record of any Scotland national coach since Ian McGeechan left the role in 1993 and included home wins over Wales and Ireland in the 2016 Six Nations tournament.
“Following an extensive recruitment process with many outstanding applications, the board is pleased to have secured such an exceptional candidate in Vern Cotter for the top job of Flying Fijians head coach,” Fiji Rugby Union chairman Francis Kean said.
“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.”
Cotter has been signed to a three-year contract.
“I’m excited about the opportunity to coach the Flying Fijians and to be involved in the development of Rugby in Fiji,” Cotter said in a statement.
Original article by Associated Press, The Japan Times, January 28, 2020.