Fiji coach Vern Cotter has decided to step down for personal reasons. Seven months before the World Cup, the “Flying Fijians” find themselves without a coach.
There were England and Australia, now there is Fiji! While the XV de la Rose and the Wallabies decided to change coach less than a year from the World Cup (Steve Borthwick took over from the English for Eddie Jones, dismissed and left to coach Australia in place of Dave Rennie, also dismissed), it is Fiji who find themselves without anyone at their head, while the World Cup begins in seven months. This time, the coach was not fired, but resigned. This is Vern Cotter, who announced Thursday that he was leaving his post for personal reasons. ” Fiji Rugby have been blessed to have Vern Cotter on board but the decision (to step down) came directly from him for personal reasons“said Tevita Tuiloa, the interim chief executive of the Fiji Rugby Federation. Vern Cotter arrived in January 2020, after having spent a large part of his career in France (in Clermont from 2006 to 2014 then in Montpellier from 2017 to 2019), with a passage by the Scottish selection between 2014 and 2017. Under his orders , Fiji have played fifteen games, for a record of four wins, one draw and ten defeats.
A difficult group for Fiji at the World Cup
The Fijian Federation will have to quickly search for a replacement (“who could be a Fijian or a foreigner”, according to Tuiloa), and the name of Cotter’s successor should be announced before the end of February. ” Time is against us to find a coach who can take the Flying Fijians to the next level (at the World Cup), but we are convinced that we have the players, ”said the interim general manager. At the World Cup in France, Fiji, currently fourteenth in the world rankings, will face Australia (6th), Wales (9th), Georgia (13th) and Portugal (18th). Suffice to say that qualifying for the quarter-finals (you have to finish in the first two places) looks complicated. During their history, Fiji have only played two quarters, in 1987 and 2007, without ever reaching the last four.