Scottish Rugby is delighted to announce today that Vern Cotter, who has enjoyed extensive success in both the northern and southern hemisphere, is to be the next head coach of the Scotland team.
Cotter, 51, a New Zealander by birth, is currently the head coach with French Top 14 club, Clermont Auvergne, who reached the Heineken Cup final earlier this month.
He has been with Clermont Auvergne since 2006, directing them to the French championship in 2010. Prior to his post in France, Cotter was part of the coaching set-up that steered Canterbury Crusaders to successive Super rugby titles in 2005 and 2006.
Scottish Rugby’s chief executive, Mark Dodson, said: “We are delighted to have secured the services of Vern Cotter.
Vern is rightly regarded as one of the top coaches in the world and to have secured someone of his calibre is a coup for Scotland. He was our first choice as head coach and we are pleased to have secured him on a two year contract taking us up to and beyond the Rugby World Cup 2015. We compiled a short list of world class candidates last December and Vern was top of that list.
“We did our business with Vern some months ago and we believe we have the best man for the role with our national team. It’s a measure of our standing that we have him on board. We delayed our announcement out of respect to Clermont and Vern as they prepared for the two most important games in their season. We are satisfied that we conducted our business in an honourable fashion and are sure Clermont appreciated our discretion.
“We always knew we would secure Vern's services from June 2014, until then, he will be on hand to assist Scott Johnson and the Scotland coaching team with advice during the Autumn Tests in November and the 2014 RBS 6 Nations Championship before joining us full-time as head coach ahead of our summer tour next year.”
Cotter said: “I’m absolutely thrilled and honoured to have been appointed to the role of Scotland head coach.
“Mark Dodson and the team at Scottish Rugby have a strategic vision and a determination to do something very special in the coming time and working with them and a talented group of players and coaches I look forward to the Scotland team growing in competitiveness and stature. We will build a winning team together.
“I have been in regular contact with Mark and Scott Johnson in recent weeks and I’m delighted that Jonathan Humphreys has joined the coaching team.
“I very much look forward to joining Scotland and until I do permanently I will be on hand to support Scott and the coaches with any advice and support they need.”
Scott Johnson said: "I believe this is a real coup for Scottish Rugby. Vern Cotter is a top rugby coach who is amongst the most highly-regarded coaches in the world.”
"Until Vern arrives, I will continue to lead Scotland as Head Coach and continue my duties as Director of Rugby."
The appointment was made following an international search led by Mark Dodson. The appointment panel comprised of Alan Lawson (SRU President), Sir Moir Lockhead (SRU Chairman), Ian McLauchlan, John Jeffrey and Mark Dodson.
Hailing the appointment John Jeffery former Scotland and British Lions back-row forward and current chairman of the International Rugby Board's Rugby committee noted: "It’s great that we have Vern on board. I believe he will be an outstanding coach for Scotland and I am thrilled that we managed to secure him.
“I know from my colleagues at the IRB and unions around the world that Vern is very highly regarded and I congratulate Mark Dodson in executing this arrangement that, I am certain, will have lasting benefit for Scotland.”