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Vern Cotter has new club in sights after shock Fiji exit

By Ian Cameron
Cotter and close friend Laidlaw (Getty Images)

Just seven weeks after he quit as head coach of Fiji in dramatic fashion and Vern Cotter appears to have a new club on the horizon.


Cotter delivered a letter of resignation at the end of January, a move which surprised many given the proximity of the Rugby World Cup.

According to Midi Olympique, Cotter appears likely to return to France and is reportedly in advanced negotiations with French Top 14 club Perpignan. The Catalan club is searching for a new head coach for next season and has made significant progress in its pursuit of the former Scotland boss.

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The 61-year-old New Zealander previously coached Clermont and Montpellier and is believed to tick all the boxes required by the Perpignan decision-makers. While there are still several contractual details to be ironed out, it appears that the Cotter track is preferred by the club’s leaders.

However, an internal source has said that “nothing is complete” yet, indicating that there is still work to be done before a final agreement is reached.


Cotter’s pedigree is considered a major asset, and he is believed to be the preferred candidate over Pierre-Henry Broncan and Julien Laïrle, who are also being considered for the position.

Whoever Perpignan’s new boss is, he will have to take over an existing coaching ticket of David Marty, Perry Freshwater, Guillaume Vilaceca, and Gérald Bastide. He will also have to manage a group of players that he did not select, making the job a significant challenge.


According to the report, Perpignan’s President, François Rivière, has given himself until the end of April to finalize the appointment. However, if he can complete the process earlier, it will be time saved for the future.

In 2013 Cotter was selected as the permanent successor to Scotland boss Andy Robinson, who had left the post six months earlier following a defeat to Tonga.

After a slow start, Cotter would ultimately lead Scotland to what was then their best Six Nations performance of all time, winning all three home games against Ireland, Wales and Italy to finish fourth in the 2017 tournament.

He would depart in May of that year, with a 3000-strong petition calling for him to remain.

additional reporting PA


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