Rugby: Kiwi coach Vern Cotter quits Fiji seven months out from 2023 World Cup

Vern Cotter.
Vern Cotter. Photo credit: Photosport

Kiwi coach Vern Cotter has resigned as Fiji coach with immediate effect for personal reasons, leaving the Fijian Rugby Union (FRU) scrambling to find a replacement seven months before the World Cup in France.

"FRU has begun the process to recruit a new 'Flying Fijians' coach that will take the team [to] 2023 Rugby World Cup in France," it said. "FRU wishes Vern Cotter all the best in his future career."

Cotter is the fourth international head coach, after Wayne Pivac (Wales), Eddie Jones (England) and Dave Rennie (Australia), to exit their roles in recent months. The former Scotland coach had been in charge of Fiji for three years.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank the players and coaches I have worked with during my time with the team," Cotter said. "I feel the team has made some significant improvements over the last few years, both on and off the field.

"I believe we built a great culture, which was testament to some good people working hard and enjoying each other's company, and I'm disappointed to be leaving at this time.

"I wish the team all the very best for the upcoming RWC later this year."