Scotland's Vern Cotter wants residency rule extended to five years

The Scotland head coach was speaking at yesterday’s RBS Six Nations launch in London

Vern Cotter, Scotland, Six Nations

Image: ©INPHO/Dan Sheridan 

Scotland head coach Vern Cotter thinks rugby residency rules should be extended to five years instead of three years to deter players from switching nationalities. 

The sentiment, which flies in the face of the Scottish Rugby Union's wish to stick to the status quo, was shared at yesterday's RBS Six Nations launch in London.

Calls for moves to change the residency rules - which allows a player to become eligible to play for a country if they have played within the nation for three years - have become more prominent in recent years and even Ireland have benefitted from the rules.

CJ Stander (South Africa), Jared Payne (New Zealand) and Nathan White (New Zealand) are just some of the Irish internationals who have benefitted from the rules in their current form.

"I think it will probably go to five years and that is probably a good thing," Cotter said.

"We have used the three-year rule the same as everybody else. I think the general consensus is that it should go to five years. I’m not a decision maker and I just adapt to whatever decision is made. My job is to try and win games.

"It would affect us but it’s the same for everybody. It would mean the academies and the youth programmes would need to be in order so we could bring players through.

"There are pros and cons but I can understand why they’d want to move it to five years."

Scotland themselves have capped Tim Visser (Netherlands), Josh Strauss (South Africa) and WP Nel (South Africa).

Scotland begin their Six Nations campaign at home to Ireland on February 4.