Saturday 24 September 2016

Vern Cotter extends Scotland reign to 2017 ahead of Ireland clash

Gavin McCafferty

Published 12/08/2015 | 16:07

Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter
Scotland Head Coach Vern Cotter

Vern Cotter has extended his Scotland contract until 2017 in a major show of faith from the Scottish Rugby Union ahead of the World Cup.

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The head coach presided over a disappointing first RBS 6 Nations campaign as Scotland lost every game.

However, the SRU has announced it has extended his initial deal by a further year, three days before Scotland start their World Cup warm-up campaign against Ireland in Dublin.

Cotter said: "I'm really happy to be able to continue working with the players, the organisation, the board, and everyone involved.

"There are some talented players with some things to develop, and together we are focused on facing that challenge in what I think are exciting times for Scottish rugby all over."

Cotter became Scotland coach in May last year and began with an overseas tour of the United States, Canada, Argentina, and South Africa in which they won three of four.

Further wins against Argentina and Tonga followed in the Autumn Tests but things turned sour in a hurry as Scotland lost five out of five in the Six Nations, leading to suggestions that Cotter could make a swift exit back to French club rugby.

However, he is now firmly focused on the World Cup to come, with Scotland drawn against South Africa, Samoa, Japan and the United States in Pool B.

"The culture of rugby is strong in this country and it's important that passion is reflected in the performances of the national team," Cotter said.

"We take great pride in the honour that represents and, while it's pleasing to be in a position to plan longer term, our focus is absolutely fixed on preparing for the Rugby World Cup."

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson added: "I am very pleased we will be extending Vern's role as Scotland head coach for a further year.

"When we recruited him he was the outstanding candidate for the role and that view has not changed.

"The work he is doing with our young, talented squad of players has taken the team forward and we can now deliver continuity for the national team well beyond the Rugby World Cup 2015."

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