We want to win titles - Cotter

imago39729789 1

He said he would be looking to the forwards, especially to give the under-performing Blues an edge he believes needs to be improved.

Being on a two-year contract, it was something that would be a priority.

"That's what I'll be trying to do. Everyone is a competitor. We will come together and want to win titles. That's what this is about.

"It's two years to win a title. There will be no excuses. We're straight into it."

Achieving that would be about getting people together and playing as a team.

"These are talented individuals, so it's about getting the ambition right and making sure we're not frightened about competition, that we walk towards it and roll our sleeves up to do the simple things well."

Cotter said being back in New Zealand since 2020, he had been following rugby, and during his stint with Fiji, he had Jason Ryan as his forwards' coach, and they often discussed where rugby was going. He had met some of the Blues squad and looked forward to working with them.

Given how the Blues were outplayed twice by the Crusaders in the 2022 Super Rugby final and their semifinal this year, the emphasis was on lifting the forward effort.

"I want to get stuck into the forwards, get them a bit rougher and tougher.

"Rugby starts up front. We need to focus on that.

"We don't really need x-factor up front, we've got plenty of it out the back. In simple terms, that's what we'll be looking at."

Cotter expects the Blues to return to their preparation for the 2024 season later this year, angry about their under-performance and looking to atone.

"I think they'll be angry about that. They probably can't wait to get back in and put that right. That will be the overwhelming emotion following that game [semifinal]. That will create an interesting dynamic."

The Crusaders had talked about their processes, belief and ambitions, and their success was based on working every day to win the title so they could turn up on finals day to win.

"There will be opportunities for new players to come in and express themselves. We'll grow players around their attitude and how they come to work every day. There's a strong feeling around here about the identity and we'll keep growing that and being comfortable being competitive."

Cotter said having worked with Jason O'Halloran with Scotland, and he was a coach who always brought in ideas and wanted him to do that with the Blues.

Both of them had overseas experience, and he was looking forward to using that knowledge to build on local players' skills.


View all