Under pressure Montpellier coach Vern Cotter is concerned by the culture of hiring and firing that is emerging in rugby.

The New Zealander is in his second season at the club, having moved there after leaving the Scotland job. Montpellier lost to Castres in the final of the Top 14 last year.

But it has been a struggle in the current campaign and Montpellier look set to miss out on the play-offs. That has prompted speculation over Cotter’s future.

In an interview with Midi Olympique, he insisted that all is well in his relationship with club president Mohed Altrad. The pair met last week.

“Our conversation was around recruitment and a few other things”, he said. “We were trying to work out if we were capable of taking things forward. It wasn’t just a chat about the current problems, but rather a positive conversation.”

Cotter had planned to return to New Zealand after Gregor Townsend replaced him in the Scotland post. But a package rumoured to be €1 million a year lured him to France.

Responding to questions over his future, he added, “We forget that behind every player or coach is a family and people you are close to. It is often them who are most affected. But it is a sport and rugby is becoming more and more like football.”

And that is a concern for Cotter, who added, “We are losing some of the values. We want to change everything quickly as soon as there are bad results rather than build for the medium and long term.”


Written by Colin Renton