(Reuters) – Fiji coach Vern Cotter has resigned 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,” the FRU said in a statement.
“FRU wishes Vern Cotter all the best in his future career.”
Cotter is the fourth international head coach, following Wayne Pivac (Wales), Eddie Jones (England) and Dave Rennie (Australia), to exit their roles in recent months.
Former Scotland coach Cotter 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 in a statement published by New Zealand media.
“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.”
(Reporting by Ian Ransom in Melbourne; Editing by Peter Rutherford)
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