Vern Cotter

A no-nonsense New Zealander, Vern Cotter has been tasked with making Scotland a force to be reckoned with on the international stage once again.

The 53-year-old started out by coaching Bay of Plenty in his homeland between 2000-2004 before moving on to the Crusaders, where he was the forwards coach until 2006.

Having played at club level in France as a No 8 in the 1990s, Cotter was recruited by Clermont Auvergne. In his eight years at the club, he turned the French side into a major European power.

Cotter took Clermont to three successive European Cup semi-finals and the final in 2013, which they agonisingly lost 16-15 to Toulon. He also delivered the Top 14 title in 2010, as they beat Perpignan 19-6 at the Stade de France in front of 80,000 spectators.

In 2014, Cotter left Clermont to take up his post as coach of Scotland. His first match resulted in a 24-6 victory over the USA in Houston but wins have been harder to come by in the Six Nations, as they lost all their matches in this year’s tournament – although three of those defeats were by a margin of only seven points or less.

Despite having South Africa and Samoa in their RWC group, it would still be a massive disappointment to both Cotter and Scotland if they fail to progress from Pool B and at least make the quarter-finals.

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