SPORTS

New Flying Fijians Coach, Vern Cotter, Tells Why He Chose Fiji

Cotter said there were exciting talents coming through in the Fijian squads like the Vodafone Under-20 and Fijian Drua.
05 Feb 2020 09:06
New Flying Fijians Coach, Vern Cotter, Tells Why He Chose Fiji
Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter.

New Fiji Airways Flying Fijians head coach Vern Cotter thrives on taking on new challenges.

Last night, he revealed for the first time from France the reasons he applied to coach the Flying Fijians.

He said he and his family loved challenges, coming from a strong beef farming background in rural New Zealand.

This is also the first time he has spoken to a local media after his appointment.

“The driving reason, this is a spectacular team with spectacular players,” the New Zealand-born coach said.

“I’ve coached Fijian players over the years and felt that as a project it would nice to improve the Fijians.”

Cotter said there were exciting talents coming through in the Fijian squads like the Vodafone Under-20 and Fijian Drua.

“I was impressed with the game they played against the Barbarians last November after the World Cup. Some good performances from young players I understand aren’t professionals here in Europe. It’s going to be exciting.”

Cotter said his family, now in Montpellier in France where he coached another famous French club, were also excited to move over to Fiji.

“We lived in different countries for eight years. In Clermont, then three years in Scotland, so we’re a close family living in foreign countries.

“My eldest daughter is excited to go to Fiji and having her friends coming over to see her.”

As a family, Cotter said they were always keen on taking challenges.

“We like these challenges. Challenges are important for careers and this is a family challenge as well of experiencing different cultures and a different way of life.

“It’s a motivating factor as a family to experience something new and be able to adapt. We always like to challenge ourselves. This is something we’ve done over the years,” he added.

Cotter played top-level rugby in New Zealand, France and Italy. He first shot to coaching fame when he coached his home Bay of Plenty to a shock win over Auckland to take the Ranfurly Shield for the first time.

Cotter was the Crusaders forwards coach when they won the Super Rugby title in 2005 and 2006. He coached Clermont to win the French Top 14 in 2009/10. Cotter also coached Scotland to the World Cup quarter-finals in 2015 and had the most successful record of any Scottish coach in the professional era.

Edited by Percy Kean

Feedbackleonec@fijisun.com.fj



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