Cotter signs new Scotland deal

Date published: August 12 2015

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter has signed a new contract with the Scottish Rugby Union to keep him in charge until 2017.

The former Clermont boss is currently helping Scotland prepare for next month's Rugby World Cup.

Since he took the reins in 2014, Cotter has brought a confident, attack-minded mentality to Scotland's on-field approach that has sought to connect with the traditional culture of Scottish play.

He 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.

"There's a generation of players coming all the way from the new Scottish Rugby Academies, Scotland U20s and the pro clubs into the national team and I'm pleased to be part of that.”

Record crowds have turned out to support Scotland throughout his tenure, which started brightly with three Test wins from four on a grueling overseas tour of USA, Canada, Argentina and South Africa.

The November Tests followed and, after defeating Argentina 41-31 – and coming agonisingly close to World Champions New Zealand at Murrayfield – he led the squad to a fifth Test victory over Tonga at Rugby Park in Kilmarnock.

Unfortunately that form didn't materialise in the Six Nations for Scotland, who were edged out of their opening three encounters by a total of 13 points, and ultimately finished bottom of the table.

Now, after two months of pre-season training, Scotland are just six weeks from the beginning of the World Cup, with their preparations set to intensify again with the beginning of the summer Tests, and each game an opportunity for the extended squad to champion a place at the showpiece tournament.

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

"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, said: "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.”