New Zealander Vern Cotter is reportedly a leading candidate to land the head coaching role at glamour English club Leicester Tigers.
Cotter last week mysteriously resigned from the Fiji national coaching position just seven months out from the World Cup in France.
But the reasons behind that sudden departure may be more clear as his name is linked to the Tigers’ position where the previous coach Steve Borthwick left with defence coach Kevin Sinfield to head a new-look England management following the sacking of Eddie Jones.
Now key figures in the interim coaching set-up at Leicester are set to follow with Richard Wigglesworth and Aled Walters joining Borthwick at Twickenham HQ.
The Telegraph reports that Cotter and current Argentina coach Michael Cheika have emerged as the top picks for the Leicester job with the club confirming the interview process was coming to a close with a shortlist drawn up.
While the Telegraph felt Cheika, the former Wallabies mentor, might be preferred, Cotter had an advantage as he was free from World Cup duties which would allow him to oversee training in the English summer ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Cotter, the former Bay of Plenty head coach and Crusaders assistant, has extensive experience in Europe. He coached Scotland between club stints in France with Clermont and Montpellier.
The Telegraph reported that Leicester, the Premiership champions, “are intent on landing a significant appointment and have money to spend following the Rugby Football Union’s acquisition of their leading coaches” and were “not interested in having a transition period”.
Cheika is a former head coach of Leinster, Stade Francais, the New South Wales Waratahs and the Wallabies. He has also coached Lebanon at the Rugby League World Cup.