VERN COTTER has been offered the chance to lead Scotland’s rugby team as head coach.
According to reports, the New Zealander, who is today preparing for the Heineken European Cup final with current club Clermont Auvergne, has been in talks with the Scottish Rugby Union and will return to the negotiating table after this weekend’s European final or, potentially, the French Top 14 final in a fortnight.
He has, however, been offered lucrative terms to succeed Andy Robinson and interim coach Scott Johnson, who has been promoted to Director of Rugby for Scotland.
The Evening News revealed yesterday that Cotter was the main man for the post after former Edinburgh captain and coach, Todd Blackadder, had ruled himself out of the job, insisting his target was to coach his native All Blacks.
Blackadder said: “What Scotland need is a really good, experienced coach, someone who has been around the traps and can give them that self-belief they need.”
Cotter has long been courted by international teams. He was linked with the head coach job for Ireland which eventually went to fellow Kiwi Joe Schmidt, and he was also under consideration to lead England when Stuart Lancaster was still filling the role on an interim basis. Speaking at the time, Cotter said: “International rugby is where we all aspire to be and it was encouraging to be under consideration. These things are all about timing. I have a great job here so the conversation in the end was pretty brief.”
However, Scotland may have just timed their move to perfection, although a spokesman for the SRU would only say: “We do not comment on speculation.”
SRU chief executive Mark Dodson revealed ten days ago that he had already signed up the new head coach, but that his identity would not be revealed for the time being. All of which points to a person already in a job.
Cotter has coached Bay of Plenty and Crusaders in new Zealand, as well as Clermont.