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Petition To #KEEPVERN Launched By Scottish Rugby Supporters

Fans are demanding the SRU and CEO Mark Dodson reverse their decision to replace head coach Vern Cotter, following the side’s recent upturn in form.

A petition on Change.org currently has over 2300 signatures and states:

“This petition exists to persuade BVC (Big Vern Cotter) and the SRU (Scottish Rugby Union) to change their plans; keep Vern, bring in Toonie (Gregor Townsend) from the Glasgow Warriors – as planned – and begin a dual coaching partnership through to World Cup 2019.”

Supporters are disappointed because the highly respected Kiwi coach is due to be replaced following the RBS Six Nations by Glasgow Warrior’s Head Coach Gregor Townsend.

This is despite Cotter leading Scotland to within a whisker of a Rugby World Cup Semi Final and helping them achieve their highest ever World Rugby Ranking during his 3 years in charge. The decision has been cast even further into doubt following the recent victories over higher placed Argentina, Ireland and Wales – as well as Cotter himself revealing that he wanted to stay on in the role.

[blockquote author=”Vern Cotter” pull=”normal”]”As a competitor, you’re always disappointed if you’re doing something and you want to go somewhere and you’ve got objectives in mind, naturally, but that’s the deal and that’s done.”[/blockquote]

Many high profile pundits and ex players have also questioned the decision to axe Cotter, including Scotland’s legendary coach and the last man to steer them to a Championship title, Jim Telfer who recently told the Scottish Mail:

“It’s a shame because he’s not at the end of the road. He’s got a lot more to offer this team and the players respect him because he does what he says.

He should really be staying until the World Cup

Jim Telfer

“He’s a Kiwi but the first thing he did was work out what makes Scotland tick. He’s got Scotland to the stage where they’re not a laughing stock. They have respect from the opposition and he’s given the country hope.”

Andy Nicol thinks there was more to come from Cotter

Former Scotland captain Andy Nicol went even further prior to the tournament.

“They had the chance to extend Vern’s deal but they didn’t. It is a strange situation as usually a coach leaves when he has not done a good job. It is entirely opposite in this case.”

It is wrong on a number of levels.

Andy Nicol

He also brought up the issue of Gregor Townsend’s experience as replacement:

“I felt Gregor needed more development as well. He will do a good job, but the SRU were in control of the whole situation.”

“Appointing Gregor Townsend as the Scotland coach should be a huge positive. It should have been one of our greatest days. One of our own players coming through after the great success he has had at Glasgow. He could end up coming in under a cloud if Vern has a good Six Nations.”

Barring a disastrous pair of results against England and Italy, it seems more than likely that this will go down as Scotland’s best tournament of the new Millenium.

It is not clear whether it would even be possible for Cotter to remain, especially considering he has already signed a contract with French side Montpellier, but rugby deals are notoriously flakey so it may theoretically be possible if the SRU were willing to stump up the cash.

What to do with Toonie?

There’s also the thorny issue of Gregor Townsend, who has already been replaced at Glasgow by another Kiwi in the shape of Dave Rennie. However, as the petition suggests, it may be possible to double down on coaches.

“Dave Rennie to the West [Glasgow], Richard Cockerill to the East [Edinburgh] and a Cotter/Townsend axis in the middle [Murrayfield], coaching Scotland together would be the ideal. Scottish Rugby’s never looked more promising! Pay off Montpellier (where Vern’s going next) and… KEEP VERN.”

The biggest issue would be a loss of face from the national body, whose announcement back in the Summer took everyone by surprise.

They’re not known for their flexibility, or indeed engagement when it comes to fan petitions (there have been several over the past decade), so it seems highly unlikely that they will be willing to admit that they may have made an error and seek to remedy it.

All of that still hasn’t stopped thousands from signing the petition and, if Scotland beat England this weekend, then the trickle may turn into a flood.

We contacted Scottish Rugby about this story but they declined to comment.

You can view the petition here

What do you think of the decision to replace Cotter? Will you be signing the petition? Let us know in the comments below.

James Maclean Enthusiast

Written by James Maclean

James is an experienced Writer and Creative Director with a passion for Scottish rugby and a never ending capacity for sporting optimism.

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308 Comments

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    • Cuz you know my feelings about this subject as I’ve advocated for months that we need Vern and more borders players in the squad. The Scotland squad are on the verge of greatness only to see the potential being lost. Toonie might be a good coach regionally but let him mature into a great one then see where he is in 10 years time but in the meantime KEEP Vern as the national coach.

    • Cuz you know my feelings about this subject as I’ve advocated for months that we need Vern and more borders players in the squad. The Scotland squad are on the verge of greatness only to see the potential being lost. Toonie might be a good coach regionally but let him mature into a great one then see where he is in 10 years time but in the meantime KEEP Vern as the national coach.

  1. With the benefit of hindsight it seems daft that his contract was not renewed as his team are about to achieve great things. What is still missing is the infrastructure to make it a lasting legacy. The 2 nations that have consistently struggled in the 6 nations have had only 2 professional teams. If we are to remain competitive in the long term that needs to change for us.

    It is no good bleating about lack of money because both Ireland and Wales have fewer financial resources than Scotland and they manage to run 4 teams each. Have a look at them and learn from them.

    Will I be signing the petition? No. Vern has made other arrangements and is moving on so the petition, in my view, is a waste of time.

    • Fair point about the Celtic cousins but Irish have 4 competitive teams and Wales have 2 at best and even then I would say Scarlets benefiting again from AI and 6Nations squad depletions as they did last season.

      I would like to see a 3rd team in Scotland also, but before that I would like to see both teams being competitive and Edinburgh are some way off that at the moment

    • The SRU have been trying to fix things from the top down. Only way forward is through grassroots and take the game to schools the length and breadth of the country.
      There is a very good – and simple – reason New Zealand dominate world rugby as a small independent nation in the South Pacific. It’s a game for all and has a grassroots system that is second to none… the NZRU are not bogged down with which school tie the next great All Black comes from.
      Scotland are still somewhat plagued with the tag that rugby is an elitist and snotty sport.

    • Grass roots ! Our small club in the north now has no development officer & no modern apprentice thanks to the SRU pulling their share of the funding. That means there is nobody going round the schools to get kids to come try rugby. I have no faith in the SRU I’m afraid

    • Bollocks. I played all my rugby with non snotty clubs with no history of elitism. None of these clubs have any private schools feeding them and indeed, Mark Bennett was the first and only player to play for Scotland from our club. He incidentally went to two schools who don’t even play rugby and is a product of mini rugby from a non fashionable club.

    • John, I played for years in a non snotty club so i know they exist… point I was making is that the sport is still regarded as a snotty sport by many and the SRU in my opinon are still not managing to get the game out there.
      Something needs to be done about getting sport back in to schools in Scotland. I’ve lived in NZ for 16 years and when I compare to what my children have been exposed to in regards to school sports – especially rugby – to that of my friends back home in Scotland is like chalk and cheese.

    • Andrew Murdoch I completely agree. As a fairly recent arrival in NZ it is quite amazing how the the Union over here ‘sells’ the game; everyone wants to be involved and every school receives input to help develop their teams and players. Sure, they are on the lookout for future stars for the Super Rugby franchises and the AB’s but it isn’t their main focus – they just want as many people playing the game they love and they know that if kids are disciplined in their sport then they are more likely to be disciplined in their lives and make choices. NZ does benefit from rugby being the main sport, unlike Scotland where football dominates, but some of the actions of the SRU remind me of the LTA and their fanatical desire (before Andy plugged the gap) to find the next Wimbledon champ. They weren’t concerned about getting people out playing tennis and dispelling the myth that tennis is an expensive sport for toffs, they just wanted a champion. British tennis is a disaster because for 10-15 years every kid was coached in exactly the same way making them predictable – I only hope that the SRU take heed and start making decisions that are to the benefit of all in Scotland and work from the ground up.

  2. With the benefit of hindsight it seems daft that his contract was not renewed as his team are about to achieve great things. What is still missing is the infrastructure to make it a lasting legacy. The 2 nations that have consistently struggled in the 6 nations have had only 2 professional teams. If we are to remain competitive in the long term that needs to change for us.

    It is no good bleating about lack of money because both Ireland and Wales have fewer financial resources than Scotland and they manage to run 4 teams each. Have a look at them and learn from them.

    Will I be signing the petition? No. Vern has made other arrangements and is moving on so the petition, in my view, is a waste of time.

    • Fair point about the Celtic cousins but Irish have 4 competitive teams and Wales have 2 at best and even then I would say Scarlets benefiting again from AI and 6Nations squad depletions as they did last season.

      I would like to see a 3rd team in Scotland also, but before that I would like to see both teams being competitive and Edinburgh are some way off that at the moment

    • The SRU have been trying to fix things from the top down. Only way forward is through grassroots and take the game to schools the length and breadth of the country.
      There is a very good – and simple – reason New Zealand dominate world rugby as a small independent nation in the South Pacific. It’s a game for all and has a grassroots system that is second to none… the NZRU are not bogged down with which school tie the next great All Black comes from.
      Scotland are still somewhat plagued with the tag that rugby is an elitist and snotty sport.

    • Grass roots ! Our small club in the north now has no development officer & no modern apprentice thanks to the SRU pulling their share of the funding. That means there is nobody going round the schools to get kids to come try rugby. I have no faith in the SRU I’m afraid

    • Bollocks. I played all my rugby with non snotty clubs with no history of elitism. None of these clubs have any private schools feeding them and indeed, Mark Bennett was the first and only player to play for Scotland from our club. He incidentally went to two schools who don’t even play rugby and is a product of mini rugby from a non fashionable club.

    • John, I played for years in a non snotty club so i know they exist… point I was making is that the sport is still regarded as a snotty sport by many and the SRU in my opinon are still not managing to get the game out there.
      Something needs to be done about getting sport back in to schools in Scotland. I’ve lived in NZ for 16 years and when I compare to what my children have been exposed to in regards to school sports – especially rugby – to that of my friends back home in Scotland is like chalk and cheese.

    • Andrew Murdoch I completely agree. As a fairly recent arrival in NZ it is quite amazing how the the Union over here ‘sells’ the game; everyone wants to be involved and every school receives input to help develop their teams and players. Sure, they are on the lookout for future stars for the Super Rugby franchises and the AB’s but it isn’t their main focus – they just want as many people playing the game they love and they know that if kids are disciplined in their sport then they are more likely to be disciplined in their lives and make choices. NZ does benefit from rugby being the main sport, unlike Scotland where football dominates, but some of the actions of the SRU remind me of the LTA and their fanatical desire (before Andy plugged the gap) to find the next Wimbledon champ. They weren’t concerned about getting people out playing tennis and dispelling the myth that tennis is an expensive sport for toffs, they just wanted a champion. British tennis is a disaster because for 10-15 years every kid was coached in exactly the same way making them predictable – I only hope that the SRU take heed and start making decisions that are to the benefit of all in Scotland and work from the ground up.

  3. I think it’s unfortunate timing, since the national team have really begun to show their potential with results since the deal was done for Vern to move on and Townsend to step up. However the basics are very much there (albeit the scrum needs a few fewer injured players!), with flair and excitement thrown in for good measure. The team is working well individually and as a team. The background for many is playing for the Warriors under Townsend, with his place being taken by Dave Rennie who will bring his experience from the Southern Hemisphere to Glasgow, which should in turn have a positive effect on the Scottish team. As I said I think it’s unfortunate timing, but certainly not a premature death sentence for the national team.

  4. I think it’s unfortunate timing, since the national team have really begun to show their potential with results since the deal was done for Vern to move on and Townsend to step up. However the basics are very much there (albeit the scrum needs a few fewer injured players!), with flair and excitement thrown in for good measure. The team is working well individually and as a team. The background for many is playing for the Warriors under Townsend, with his place being taken by Dave Rennie who will bring his experience from the Southern Hemisphere to Glasgow, which should in turn have a positive effect on the Scottish team. As I said I think it’s unfortunate timing, but certainly not a premature death sentence for the national team.

  5. This is madness. Why replace him just when the team is reaching its potential? If nothing else, it heaps enormous pressure on Toony to meet and exceed the same standards. Better to have Vern see out to the next RWC

  6. This is madness. Why replace him just when the team is reaching its potential? If nothing else, it heaps enormous pressure on Toony to meet and exceed the same standards. Better to have Vern see out to the next RWC

  7. Was it not Cotter who came up with the idea of giving it to Townsend. I seem to remember him saying Scotland risked losing Townsend if he didn’t get the job soon. I’m also sure he wanted a return to club rugby. Might be wrong

  8. Was it not Cotter who came up with the idea of giving it to Townsend. I seem to remember him saying Scotland risked losing Townsend if he didn’t get the job soon. I’m also sure he wanted a return to club rugby. Might be wrong

  9. Vern is doing a fantastic job and I am sorry to see him go I had hoped he could have stayed until the next World Cup. Toony is an excellent replacement but we at Warriors will miss him terribly. Thanks to both of them for improving our Scottish Teams it has been an exciting couple of years long may it continue. All the best to you both for the future

  10. Vern is doing a fantastic job and I am sorry to see him go I had hoped he could have stayed until the next World Cup. Toony is an excellent replacement but we at Warriors will miss him terribly. Thanks to both of them for improving our Scottish Teams it has been an exciting couple of years long may it continue. All the best to you both for the future

  11. The decision always smacked to me of panic by the SRU.

    If the AI and 6Nations had gone poorly, Townsend was always the Plan A should they need to make a change. Did Townsend spook them by saying his time was coming to an end at Glasgow and they feared their Plan A was unraveling and they had no Plan B ?

    Great AI and, so far, a good 6NATIONS and has the SRU now seeing a different scenario now ?

    Not sure I had seen a clear statement on how the SRU reached the conclusion they did and effectively fired the best thing to have happened to Scottish rugby in a generation.

    I am sure someone will say he was not fired and it was a case of his contract not being renewed, but the results do not match a failure to renew his contract.

  12. The decision always smacked to me of panic by the SRU.

    If the AI and 6Nations had gone poorly, Townsend was always the Plan A should they need to make a change. Did Townsend spook them by saying his time was coming to an end at Glasgow and they feared their Plan A was unraveling and they had no Plan B ?

    Great AI and, so far, a good 6NATIONS and has the SRU now seeing a different scenario now ?

    Not sure I had seen a clear statement on how the SRU reached the conclusion they did and effectively fired the best thing to have happened to Scottish rugby in a generation.

    I am sure someone will say he was not fired and it was a case of his contract not being renewed, but the results do not match a failure to renew his contract.

  13. While I think Townsend is an outstanding coach for the warriors I would have liked to have seen him get some experience coaching abroad before taking the Scotland job. Surely also the common sense thing to do was to give big Vern the job till after the 2019 World Cup thereby going a full cycle with hi as the coach

  14. While I think Townsend is an outstanding coach for the warriors I would have liked to have seen him get some experience coaching abroad before taking the Scotland job. Surely also the common sense thing to do was to give big Vern the job till after the 2019 World Cup thereby going a full cycle with hi as the coach

  15. Not only do we need to keep him, keep Toony at Glasgow and give him the funds to make even more success. The SRU need to fund another pro team to get the success we are all craving. Shows how much Glasgow suffer from loosing their key players twice a year.

  16. Not only do we need to keep him, keep Toony at Glasgow and give him the funds to make even more success. The SRU need to fund another pro team to get the success we are all craving. Shows how much Glasgow suffer from loosing their key players twice a year.

  17. So we find a great coach then fire him,his replacement has little or no international coaching experience and has the opportunity to join a world class team on a tour to the world cup champions, an invaluable learning experience for him. We could have kept Vern for another year, given more time for Gregor to have a handover period and taken the pressure off.

    • They didn’t fire him,he had already made other plans at the end of his contract,hence it wasn’t renewed.Townsend turned the lions position down to concentrate on Scotland.Plus it’s Gatland as head coach FFS.I mean Dr James Robson not part of the team is unheard of.

    • Gordon Milloy As far as I am aware he was told that his contract was not going to be renewed. A chance for Townsend to get some quality southern hemisphere experience against the world champions could only be invaluable to him and Scotland. Gatland and the other coaches have a wealth of experience in International rugby.

  18. So we find a great coach then fire him,his replacement has little or no international coaching experience and has the opportunity to join a world class team on a tour to the world cup champions, an invaluable learning experience for him. We could have kept Vern for another year, given more time for Gregor to have a handover period and taken the pressure off.

    • They didn’t fire him,he had already made other plans at the end of his contract,hence it wasn’t renewed.Townsend turned the lions position down to concentrate on Scotland.Plus it’s Gatland as head coach FFS.I mean Dr James Robson not part of the team is unheard of.

    • Gordon Milloy As far as I am aware he was told that his contract was not going to be renewed. A chance for Townsend to get some quality southern hemisphere experience against the world champions could only be invaluable to him and Scotland. Gatland and the other coaches have a wealth of experience in International rugby.

  19. Has the horse not already bolted? Rennie’s signings already being announced at Glasgow, and Townsend committed to Scotland having turned down coaching opportunity with the Lions. It’s done and will play out. We need to back them all, and Cotter has won many friends.

  20. Has the horse not already bolted? Rennie’s signings already being announced at Glasgow, and Townsend committed to Scotland having turned down coaching opportunity with the Lions. It’s done and will play out. We need to back them all, and Cotter has won many friends.

  21. I’d love Vern to stay we’ve made huge improvements throughout under his leadership.
    Keep him & GT eventually goes to one of the French teams.
    Totally agree with one of the earlier comments. We are crying out for a 3rd pro team.

  22. I’d love Vern to stay we’ve made huge improvements throughout under his leadership.
    Keep him & GT eventually goes to one of the French teams.
    Totally agree with one of the earlier comments. We are crying out for a 3rd pro team.

  23. Tooney was going to leave Glasgow and therefore Scotland, he negotiated for the only job that would make him stay under SRU contract. He wouldn’t of been short of offers and would have been unlikely to be available when Vern left after the next world cup so the SRU made a tough choice, it’s not ideal but it was pragmatic and will turn out to be a good one, hopefully. I seem to recall similar angst when the Irish replaced Gatland with O’Sulluvan, who can say that they would have been more or less successful had they not made that decision? It also reminds me of the situation when Townsend came Glasgow, a significant section if the fans wanted Lineen to stay and held that against Townsend at the beginning, strangely the bay sayers seen to have vanished now.

  24. Tooney was going to leave Glasgow and therefore Scotland, he negotiated for the only job that would make him stay under SRU contract. He wouldn’t of been short of offers and would have been unlikely to be available when Vern left after the next world cup so the SRU made a tough choice, it’s not ideal but it was pragmatic and will turn out to be a good one, hopefully. I seem to recall similar angst when the Irish replaced Gatland with O’Sulluvan, who can say that they would have been more or less successful had they not made that decision? It also reminds me of the situation when Townsend came Glasgow, a significant section if the fans wanted Lineen to stay and held that against Townsend at the beginning, strangely the bay sayers seen to have vanished now.

  25. SRU displayed amateurism in panicking that Toony would move to France. Vern is an outstanding coach who has taken the time to understand Scottish rugby. He is a massive loss and Dobson and co should hang their heads in shame. RWC 2019 would have been an outstanding competition for a Cotter coached team. He won’t stay but I wish it was an option.

  26. SRU displayed amateurism in panicking that Toony would move to France. Vern is an outstanding coach who has taken the time to understand Scottish rugby. He is a massive loss and Dobson and co should hang their heads in shame. RWC 2019 would have been an outstanding competition for a Cotter coached team. He won’t stay but I wish it was an option.

  27. His contract wasn’t renewed only because of one of his training methods before the world cup. Those methods gave us our best world cups and 2 6ns for years. Turned under achieving players into men who can compete at the top level. Can only see us going backwards from here I’m afraid

  28. His contract wasn’t renewed only because of one of his training methods before the world cup. Those methods gave us our best world cups and 2 6ns for years. Turned under achieving players into men who can compete at the top level. Can only see us going backwards from here I’m afraid

  29. Absolute madness to allow Vern to go for the first time in years we have a team that is not only playing for the jersey but playing for each other. I personally would replace the SRU officials in total.

  30. Absolute madness to allow Vern to go for the first time in years we have a team that is not only playing for the jersey but playing for each other. I personally would replace the SRU officials in total.

  31. I think it was a huge mistake to let him go, just when the team needs consistency and growth. Not to say that Townsend is not a good coach but his time would have come further on down the trail. I can´t see the logic in letting Cotter go.

  32. I think it was a huge mistake to let him go, just when the team needs consistency and growth. Not to say that Townsend is not a good coach but his time would have come further on down the trail. I can´t see the logic in letting Cotter go.

  33. There is no doubt the wrong decision was made. Vern needs to stay, he has done a fantastic job and if he were to stay ther is no telling just how much more improvement he will make. I think Gregor Townsend is perhaps a good option for the future and the proposal of working with Vern until the World Cup does make sense. However I think that Gregor, and eventually Scotland,would benefit if he were to have a couple of seasons coaching in the Southern Hemisphere preferably NZ. But, I think if it can be done the SRU should do all it can to keep Vern at least until the World Cup. So yes I will definitely sign the petition.

  34. There is no doubt the wrong decision was made. Vern needs to stay, he has done a fantastic job and if he were to stay ther is no telling just how much more improvement he will make. I think Gregor Townsend is perhaps a good option for the future and the proposal of working with Vern until the World Cup does make sense. However I think that Gregor, and eventually Scotland,would benefit if he were to have a couple of seasons coaching in the Southern Hemisphere preferably NZ. But, I think if it can be done the SRU should do all it can to keep Vern at least until the World Cup. So yes I will definitely sign the petition.

  35. That stupid clown Scott Johnson should have been removed from the director of rugby post, if he hasn’t already been, cotter should have been given that job and Townsend the Scottish job, working alongside cotter.

    Best of both worlds!!!!

  36. That stupid clown Scott Johnson should have been removed from the director of rugby post, if he hasn’t already been, cotter should have been given that job and Townsend the Scottish job, working alongside cotter.

    Best of both worlds!!!!

  37. Well ive never understood there decision we have had some humdingers coaching scotland but vern has done wat the rest couldnt ive said it before i will say it again if it aint broke dont fix it the team respect him and that u have to earn wish he was staying but i fear its too late

  38. Well ive never understood there decision we have had some humdingers coaching scotland but vern has done wat the rest couldnt ive said it before i will say it again if it aint broke dont fix it the team respect him and that u have to earn wish he was staying but i fear its too late

  39. Real shame to have a coach move on under these circumstances given the great progress made. Townsend may turn outbe great, but maybe not. Would be more than embarrassing to have moved on such a great coach just to replace him with someone with potential who didn’t deliver. I’ll be sad to see Vern go.

  40. Real shame to have a coach move on under these circumstances given the great progress made. Townsend may turn outbe great, but maybe not. Would be more than embarrassing to have moved on such a great coach just to replace him with someone with potential who didn’t deliver. I’ll be sad to see Vern go.

  41. Tbh hes done a good job over time, sonething that coaches dont get very often and we are heading in the right direction. The previous 2 coaches had to start the long road to getting us to where we are getting to. Didnt like him at first but the loss to australia interview really struck it home to me that he does have emotions and does really care. In hindsight, yes keep him but its done and gregors coming in. Please go out with a bang and beat england and beat italy by a ton and win the 6 nations. Please!

  42. Tbh hes done a good job over time, sonething that coaches dont get very often and we are heading in the right direction. The previous 2 coaches had to start the long road to getting us to where we are getting to. Didnt like him at first but the loss to australia interview really struck it home to me that he does have emotions and does really care. In hindsight, yes keep him but its done and gregors coming in. Please go out with a bang and beat england and beat italy by a ton and win the 6 nations. Please!

  43. Vern made an immediate impact in how the team played and in their mental attitude to games , which has cost us in the past, and as such should definitely been given an extended contract. The SRU should’ve realised this
    I would love to see him stay but get the impression he is a man of his word so will fulfil his next contract

  44. Vern made an immediate impact in how the team played and in their mental attitude to games , which has cost us in the past, and as such should definitely been given an extended contract. The SRU should’ve realised this
    I would love to see him stay but get the impression he is a man of his word so will fulfil his next contract

  45. Ideally I would have liked Vern to stay on till after the 2019 World Cup, let Gregor go on the lions tour n work in England or France for 2 years then give him the job!! Either way I hope the team continues to improve!!!

  46. Ideally I would have liked Vern to stay on till after the 2019 World Cup, let Gregor go on the lions tour n work in England or France for 2 years then give him the job!! Either way I hope the team continues to improve!!!

  47. The man has changed Scottish rugby for the better. He has built a team that can challenge for the World Cup in Japan . Then and only then should any one be talking about his future. The beaks don’t know what’s good for Scotland if they let him go. Gregor Townsend is a good coach and will get better ,but he ain’t no Vern.

  48. The man has changed Scottish rugby for the better. He has built a team that can challenge for the World Cup in Japan . Then and only then should any one be talking about his future. The beaks don’t know what’s good for Scotland if they let him go. Gregor Townsend is a good coach and will get better ,but he ain’t no Vern.

  49. This is pretty pointless, as the paperwork is already complete and he is actually has a great contract in place with new team. I think it will be good to get Gregor in as a sizeable chunk of the team are his anyway, also means we will have a good long term coach hopefully (Gregor being so young). Vern has been good, but I am ok with the exchange. Too late for anything else regardless…

  50. This is pretty pointless, as the paperwork is already complete and he is actually has a great contract in place with new team. I think it will be good to get Gregor in as a sizeable chunk of the team are his anyway, also means we will have a good long term coach hopefully (Gregor being so young). Vern has been good, but I am ok with the exchange. Too late for anything else regardless…

  51. This is not what we need! Verns leaving and Townshend is heading up the role. We’re replacing one good coach with another good coach and, for once, the national team isn’t in crisis. We need to make sure he gets the send off he deserves and Gregor gets a wholehearted WELCOME, not this pish. It’s like breaking up with a tall beautiful blonde and getting a new tall beautiful blonde girlfriend and still audibly pining after your ex – a sure fire way to end up with no bird!
    Verns squad have performed well and won a few good matches. But let’s not look at his reign through graduation goggles, his first 6 Nations wasn’t good enough.
    Let’s leave this pish and focus on The Big Game this weekend. If we get a win I’ll sign and petition on the street!

  52. This is not what we need! Verns leaving and Townshend is heading up the role. We’re replacing one good coach with another good coach and, for once, the national team isn’t in crisis. We need to make sure he gets the send off he deserves and Gregor gets a wholehearted WELCOME, not this pish. It’s like breaking up with a tall beautiful blonde and getting a new tall beautiful blonde girlfriend and still audibly pining after your ex – a sure fire way to end up with no bird!
    Verns squad have performed well and won a few good matches. But let’s not look at his reign through graduation goggles, his first 6 Nations wasn’t good enough.
    Let’s leave this pish and focus on The Big Game this weekend. If we get a win I’ll sign and petition on the street!

  53. Vern is going to France & Gregor will be coaching the National team. I think this is a good thing & while Vern has done a great job the backbone of this team are Glasgow Warriors & the attacking way they play is typical of Glasgow under Gregor’s coaching. Perhaps it’s time to give Gregor more credit for the improvement in the performances of the National team & stop assuming it’s all down to Vern. I for one wish Vern well & look forward to even more success under the new regime. Exciting times ahead.

  54. Vern is going to France & Gregor will be coaching the National team. I think this is a good thing & while Vern has done a great job the backbone of this team are Glasgow Warriors & the attacking way they play is typical of Glasgow under Gregor’s coaching. Perhaps it’s time to give Gregor more credit for the improvement in the performances of the National team & stop assuming it’s all down to Vern. I for one wish Vern well & look forward to even more success under the new regime. Exciting times ahead.

  55. Vern has done a fantastic job and I wish he could stay. Scottish rugby needs another two pro clubs to enable the professional game and the national team to have the depth of skilled, experienced players to consistently compete with the top 10 teams. As a Scot living in Wales, I am only too aware of the grass roots rugby club infrastructure here which feeds into the pro clubs. Scotland needs to replicate this. Back to Vern though, he will be missed and we wish him good luck. But given what Gregor has achieved with Glasgow, I think has demonstrated his suitability to replace Vern.

  56. Vern has done a fantastic job and I wish he could stay. Scottish rugby needs another two pro clubs to enable the professional game and the national team to have the depth of skilled, experienced players to consistently compete with the top 10 teams. As a Scot living in Wales, I am only too aware of the grass roots rugby club infrastructure here which feeds into the pro clubs. Scotland needs to replicate this. Back to Vern though, he will be missed and we wish him good luck. But given what Gregor has achieved with Glasgow, I think has demonstrated his suitability to replace Vern.

  57. Sadly, as much as I want him to stay, it’ll be too little too late. The lads need to dig deep, give us a win on Saturday, let the big man go out on a high against Italy and then get behind Gregor and do us all proud!

  58. Sadly, as much as I want him to stay, it’ll be too little too late. The lads need to dig deep, give us a win on Saturday, let the big man go out on a high against Italy and then get behind Gregor and do us all proud!

  59. Even before the success of this 6 Nations it was a ridiculous decision to replace him! Too late for worthless petitions now – just wish VT all the best and hope that Gregor can continue the great work he has done for Scotland Rugby. Slainte

  60. Even before the success of this 6 Nations it was a ridiculous decision to replace him! Too late for worthless petitions now – just wish VT all the best and hope that Gregor can continue the great work he has done for Scotland Rugby. Slainte

  61. Apart from the disrespect shown to Vern after what he has achieved. If you have a winning combination you don’t go and change the pivotal influence. Half the team may be Glasgow but the other half ain’t and who knows what disruption might be caused. Sounds like Townsend held them to ransom for the job, hope he can hold it together for his sake and Scottish rugby.

  62. Apart from the disrespect shown to Vern after what he has achieved. If you have a winning combination you don’t go and change the pivotal influence. Half the team may be Glasgow but the other half ain’t and who knows what disruption might be caused. Sounds like Townsend held them to ransom for the job, hope he can hold it together for his sake and Scottish rugby.

  63. Other arrangements have already been made so it is unlikely – highly unlikely – that he will be retained in his current position. I was, however, extremely disappointed in the SRU making a hasty decision to offload Vern and bring in Toonie. Vern was brought in some 14/15 months before RWC 2015 and worked wonders with the team. since the heartache of that tournament he has continued to build the team and their performance in this campaign, so far, has been superb. Yes, maybe plenty of others are interested in Toonie, but why dispose so quickly of someone who has galvanised and reinvigorated the team? In my view, Vern should have been given a contract up to the next world cup, at the very least, so that he had a full four years to get the team ready especially if the SRU have designs on Scotland lifting the Cup. He deserved that; he still deserves that. He didn’t want to leave but the decision was not of his making and the SRU may well rue their decision. All I see is a rush to get someone into a job simply because others ‘might’ poach him. What we have at present is not broken so why try to fix it?

  64. Other arrangements have already been made so it is unlikely – highly unlikely – that he will be retained in his current position. I was, however, extremely disappointed in the SRU making a hasty decision to offload Vern and bring in Toonie. Vern was brought in some 14/15 months before RWC 2015 and worked wonders with the team. since the heartache of that tournament he has continued to build the team and their performance in this campaign, so far, has been superb. Yes, maybe plenty of others are interested in Toonie, but why dispose so quickly of someone who has galvanised and reinvigorated the team? In my view, Vern should have been given a contract up to the next world cup, at the very least, so that he had a full four years to get the team ready especially if the SRU have designs on Scotland lifting the Cup. He deserved that; he still deserves that. He didn’t want to leave but the decision was not of his making and the SRU may well rue their decision. All I see is a rush to get someone into a job simply because others ‘might’ poach him. What we have at present is not broken so why try to fix it?

  65. Although a great fan of Townsend I am a bigger fan of Cotton and what he has achieved with Scotland. I feel Townsend has still more to learn and couldbenefit from a stint abroad. That said, I do like the suggestion of ‘dual-coaching’ in the centre of the Rennie / Cockerill axis in Scotland. Townsend would gain a lot from Cotter whilst knowing that Rennie and Cockerill will be developing the very best players. It’s a win, win win situation. COme on the Scotland board….time to re-think and give the Scotland fans and players the very very best. Be BOLD and get him re-instated. #AsOne

  66. Although a great fan of Townsend I am a bigger fan of Cotton and what he has achieved with Scotland. I feel Townsend has still more to learn and couldbenefit from a stint abroad. That said, I do like the suggestion of ‘dual-coaching’ in the centre of the Rennie / Cockerill axis in Scotland. Townsend would gain a lot from Cotter whilst knowing that Rennie and Cockerill will be developing the very best players. It’s a win, win win situation. COme on the Scotland board….time to re-think and give the Scotland fans and players the very very best. Be BOLD and get him re-instated. #AsOne

  67. Already signed this but will the Scottish Rugby SMT realise that they have made the biggest error in their history….ask him to stay till the next world cup as director of rugby…this will support Greagor into a solid coaching role….and settled coaching team…its great to have a Scottish coach for Scotland…however, timing is everything…

  68. Already signed this but will the Scottish Rugby SMT realise that they have made the biggest error in their history….ask him to stay till the next world cup as director of rugby…this will support Greagor into a solid coaching role….and settled coaching team…its great to have a Scottish coach for Scotland…however, timing is everything…

  69. We have to thank Cotter for everything he has done for Scottish rugby but he isn’t Scottish! Townsend is! And I didn’t want him (Townsend) to replace Lineen. So I’ll put my faith in Toony! Meanwhile come on Scotland tomorrow!

  70. We have to thank Cotter for everything he has done for Scottish rugby but he isn’t Scottish! Townsend is! And I didn’t want him (Townsend) to replace Lineen. So I’ll put my faith in Toony! Meanwhile come on Scotland tomorrow!

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