Vern Cotter 'disappointed' to lose Scotland head coach job

Vern Cotter
Vern Cotter will oversee his last autumn Test series as Scotland head coach in November

Vern Cotter is "disappointed" he is leaving his job as Scotland head coach but "respects" Scottish Rugby's decision to appoint Gregor Townsend.

The union announced in August that Glasgow Warriors boss Townsend would replace Cotter in June.

Former Clermont head coach Cotter has subsequently secured a return to France with Montpellier for next year.

"Holistically, I understand," said Cotter, who has named his squad for November's autumn Test series.

"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.

"The decision was made to put Gregor in place. I think it's a good decision and the executives made their decision. I respect it and just move on."

Cotter, whose side face Australia (12 November), Argentina (19 November) and Georgia (26 November) in his last autumn internationals as Scotland head coach, says the "big year" ahead should keep the players focused.

"There's more important things than just us," he said of himself and Townsend. "It's a Lions year, there's places to be taken on that trip in June against New Zealand.

"The players are professional and they'll be wanting to play well for their club, whether it's Glasgow, and then shifting through to international stuff - whether it's a young player or established players.

"Look at [Edinburgh hooker] Ross Ford. It could be his 100th game [for Scotland]. Those sort of things take precedence.

"It's not about us, it's about the bigger picture."