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Cotter to quit Clermont

Sun, 26 May 2013 13:09
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We'll pass the baton next season with great ambitions
Quote-end

New Zealander coach Vern Cotter said on Sunday he will quit Clermont at the end of next season.

A week ago, Clermont were heading into the final straight of a season where they had thrilled rugby fans across Europe with their expansive attacking play and were considered favourites to land a double of French Top 14 and European Cup titles.

But last weekend they succumbed 15-16 to Toulon in the European Cup Final, denying them a first ever success in that competition, before then losing 9-25 to Castres on Saturday in the Top 14 semifinals.

"We'll bounce back and we're going to go after this European title next season, which will be my last," said Cotter, whose Clermont contract is due to expire at the end of next season in an interview on the club's website.

It had long been rumoured the 51-year-old, who arrived in 2006, would leave once his contract runs out.

The disappointment of missing out on the European Cup again seemed to have left Clermont deflated.

Despite finishing top of the regular season table in France, they were a shadow of themselves in their shock loss to Castres.

Winning the European Cup for the first time has become something of an obsession for Castres and they have picked up a chokers tag over recent years under Cotter.

Despite winning the European Challenge Cup in 2007 and Top 14 in 2010, they have lost three Top 14 finals during the New Zealander's time while last season they were beaten in the European Cup semifinals and this year in the Final.

"I've always said I wanted to leave the club in a better shape than I found it and that will be the case," added Cotter.

"We'll pass the baton next season with great ambitions."

AFP

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