Clermont Chief Says Cotter Has Offered To Resign

by
Reuters
Scotland's next coach Vern Cotter has offered to resign as Clermont Auvergne coach over remarks attributed to him in a French newspaper, club president Rene Fontes said on Wednesday.

Vern Cotter

Scotland's next coach Vern Cotter has offered to resign as Clermont Auvergne coach over remarks attributed to him in a French newspaper, club president Rene Fontes said on Wednesday.

Hours after Cotter was introduced to the media in Edinburgh following the announcement he would become Scotland coach next year, Fontes spoke of his disappointment at an article where the New Zealander appeared to criticise Clermont and their players.

"I am abashed and deeply disappointed by the remarks made by our coach, which are light-years away from his usual behaviour towards the players and our club," Fontes said on the Clermont website (www.asm-rugby.com) after the report in La Montagne.

"Vern has informed me that following his remarks, he offered me his resignation. I have acknowledged his proposal and decided to set up a board meeting on June 3 to rule on that situation."

Cotter, 51, was quoted by the newspaper as saying he regretted trusting some of his players during this month's Heineken Cup final defeat by Toulon in Dublin.

"My main regret is that we worked for Dublin on the selection and management of the game with the leaders and the leaders of the game were absent," he was quoted as saying.

"The soldiers were there but not management. It's frustrating ... it's a fact. I do not shirk my responsibilities. I regret trusting two or three players."

In Edinburgh, Cotter told a news conference that reports he had offered to resign early from the French club were "news to me".

"I'm surprised," he added. "I will seek some clarity."

Cotter had earlier announced he planned to stay with Clermont, where he has been since 2006, until the end of next season before leading Scotland into the Rugby World Cup in 2015.

"I'm privileged to be joining. This is a great opportunity," he said. "I used to love watching Scotland play."

Cotter plans to assist temporary coach and Scotland's newly appointed director of rugby Scott Johnson with the November internationals and next season's Six Nations tournament before his planned takeover in June 2014.

"We took our time and did our homework and produced a list of the best coaches in the world and Vern topped that list," Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson told the news conference.