Vern Cotter

Vern Cotter believes Super Rugby boost will help keep Fiji talent at home

Cotter has revealed a lack of opportunities to remain at home rather than accept lucrative contracts in Europe, Japan and USA – along with the option of choosing to represent another country – is evident when he tries to recruit talent for the Fiji national squad.

Cotter told SunSport: “It’s the hesitation in their voice when asked to play for Fiji.”

World Rugby has committed to helping fund the two Pacific Islands teams for an initial three-year period to support the two franchises.

Vern Cotter names nine debutants for the Flying Fijians' Autumn Nations Cup match against Georgia

Vern Cotter has named nine debutants under captain Semi Radradra with the young flankers Johnny Dyer and Mesulame Kunavula together with Lock Temo Mayanavanua named in the starting lineup.

Sunday will be the Flying Fijians first and last game in the Autumn Nations Cup after their earlier pool matches against France, Italy and Scotland were called off because of an outbreak of Covid-19 in the team.

Cotter calls in 7 of his Flying Fijians to bolster Barbarians squad for England clash

Barbarians coach Vern Cotter has drafted in seven of his Fiji players who will link up with the rest of the Pacific Islands nations squad for the Autumn international series after the Twickenham match, which takes place just 24 hours after the Gallagher Premiership play-off final between Wasps and Heineken Champions Cup winners Exeter.

Saracens are supplying 11 players, headed by ex-England scrum half Richard Wigglesworth and Scotland wing Sean Maitland.

'Nadolo motivated is a monster' - Fiji powerhouse set for Test return

Nadolo, who quit test rugby last year, is back in the squad after a successful switch to Leicester proved he was still a defence busting force.

Cotter, who has yet to meet up with his players, selected a squad of 32 players for a camp on 25 October after spending the last while watching videos of European matches while also keeping tabs on those operating in New Zealand, where he has been based during the pandemic.

Fiji's Vern Cotter to coach Barbarians rugby team

The former Scotland head coach will be joined by one his Fiji assistant coaches, former test referee Glen Jackson, for the Quilter Cup clash at Twickenham on 25 October.

"I'm hugely excited and honoured to be taking the reins for the Barbarians' match against England later this month," said Cotter.

"It is a big moment in a rugby career to be involved with this famous club. It's going to be a different experience given the global situation, but it's important to get international rugby back on track and significant we are able to come together for this fixture."

Problems for Fiji camp as Sevens star dumped by French club

Added to the logistical problems of ensuring new head coach Vern Cotter can meet up with his players for the first time to prepare for the tournament, there is now doubt over the availability of Olympic Sevens gold medallist Semi Kunatani after he was dropped by new club Castres.

The French Top 14 outfit issued a statement saying: “Castres Olympique regret to announce that Semi Kunatani did not meet the requirements of the regulatory medical examination and as provided for in the regulations of the National Rugby League.

Flying Fijians coach keeping close eye on local talent

The former Scotland head coach was unveiled as the new Fiji mentor in January but has yet to step foot in the country because of Covid-19.

He's currently back home in New Zealand, where Fiji's Skipper Cup domestic competition is being screened on TV.

"I watched the Nadroga vs Namosi game this last weekend so when I'm able to watch the Skipper Cup, the Farebrother Trophy I've enjoyed watching it," he said.

"All I can say to the players is - there's a lot of enthusiasm and I love the crowds occasion as well - is just to play as best as possible.