SCOTLAND full-back Stuart Hogg has hailed outgoing head coach Vern Cotter for ‘working wonders’ in his three years in charge of the national team. Cotter, who will move to French club Montpellier in the summer, took charge of Scotland for the last time on Saturday as they beat Italy 29-0 to finish the Six Nations Championship with three wins for the first time since 2006.
“For me, he has worked wonders for myself and for Scottish rugby and we thank him for absolutely everything he has done,” Hogg said. “He will be missed. Montpellier are very lucky to have him and I wish him all the best.
“He instils confidence in each and everyone of us. He wants us to go there and have some fun and you can see that on the boys’ faces. We’re scoring tries and winning games and that's what it's all about.”
Cotter’s celebrated stern demeanour was not in evidence at the end of the match, as a capacity Murrayfield crowd paid tribute to him. He had to wipe away a tear at the end of a short television interview, a show of emotion that Hogg said indicated how much the job had meant to the New Zealander.
“Vern is a very passionate guy. He’s put everything into Scotland. You can see how much it means to him. He’s done a phenomenal job and you can see how much it means to him.”
Scotland’s four-try win saw them finish equal on points with Ireland and France, but behind both on points differential. Ireland’s 13-9 win over England was enough for them to finish second, and denied Eddie Jones’ side a Grand Slam and a new world record of 19 consecutive victories. France secured third place with a 20-18 win over Wales.
Cotter is still under contract for the next two months before moving back to France, where he previously coached Clermont, but by the time Scotland play again Gregor Townsend, currently Hogg’s coach at Glasgow Warriors, will have taken over. Townsend’s first match in charge, like Cotter’s last, will be against Italy. That game looks set to go ahead in Singapore, after which Scotland will head to Sydney for a game against Australia then to Suva for a Test against Fiji before returning home towards the end of the month.
Loading article content