Samoa v Scotland: Match not about me, says Vern Cotter

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Scotland head coach Vern Cotter
Cotter's side have won two of their three Pool B matches so far

Vern Cotter has dismissed suggestions that Saturday's match against Samoa is a definitive moment for him as Scotland head coach.

The national side will qualify for the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals with a victory over the Samoans.

But Cotter, who has been in the job for 15 months, is downplaying the significance of the match for him and his players.

"I'm sure you can make a story of it if you'd like to," Cotter said.

"But it's not about me. It's about us as a group enjoying this situation.

"It's a game that we've worked ourselves to get to and we know what it means. We're enjoying the position we are in and we want to put in a good performance this weekend.


"The group has a strong desire to do well and qualify. I think we'll see that will and determination come Saturday."

Scotland, second behind Pool B winners South Africa and two points ahead of Japan, have made seven changes to the starting line-up from the defeat by South Africa last Saturday with Finn Russell and John Hardie returning to fly-half and open-side flanker, respectively.

But Cotter revealed he may be forced into further changes if Ross Ford and Matt Scott fail their final return to play protocols scheduled for later on Thursday.

"They seemed to have got through training okay," said the New Zealander.

"They've had a couple of contact training sessions. After looking at the way they trained today I'm positive as best I can be.

"We know that there are little things that put a stick in your spokes before games but we're hoping that they're going to come through okay."

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Four years ago Scotland failed to qualify for the knock-out stages for the first time in the tournament's history.

And captain Greig Laidlaw says his team-mates are "desperate" not to repeat that scenario.

"We need to play for 80 minutes," said the scrum-half. "There'll be times in the game when Samoa get their tails up and it's about us taking the sting out of them. It's about concentration.

"All the things are pointing in the right direction. We are desperate to win this. We want to be in the quarter-finals of the World Cup so we know we need to put in a performance."

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