Former Scotland boss has resigned for personal reasons

Vern Cotter has resigned as Fiji head coach just seven months out from the Rugby World Cup.

New Zealander Cotter, 61, had been in charge for three years after taking up the post in January 2020 but becomes the fourth international coach to move on in the last two months after Wales sacked Wayne Pivac and Australia removed Dave Rennie in order to appoint Eddie Jones, who had been let go by England.

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Former Scotland coach Cotter has officially stepped down with immediate effect for personal reasons but speculation will swirl with a number of top clubs in the market for a new coach, including reigning Gallagher Premiership champions Leicester Tigers who lost Steve Borthwick to England.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players and coaches I have worked with during my time with the team,” said Cotter, who left Scotland in 2017 for Montpellier having previously spent eight years in the Top 14 with Clermont.

“I feel the team has made some significant improvements over the last few years both on and off the field.

“I believe we built a great culture which was testament to some good people working hard and enjoying each other’s company and I’m disappointed to be leaving at this time.”

The Fiji Rugby Union (FRU) confirmed they had accepted Cotter’s resignation letter and had begun the process of recruiting a new coach.

Fiji open their Rugby World Cup 2023 campaign in France against Wales on 10 September in Bordeaux. One name in the frame to replace Cotter is Rennie, who is reportedly not in the running to be the next All Blacks coach, after his shock dismissal by the Wallabies.

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