Flying Fijians assistant coach Gray quits FRU role


One week after the departure of Vern Cotter, Flying Fijians assistant coach Richie Gray is following suit, resigning from his post.

The Fiji Rugby Union put out a statement late on Friday to announce Gray’s resignation “with immediate effect”.

Cotter and Gray’s departure less than seven months from the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France has left the FRU scrambling for a head coach and support staff to prepare a team. A former Scotland player, Gray joined Cotter in 2020 as the Flying Fijians contact/collision skills coach.

The pair had worked together with Montpelier in the Top 14 competition in France.

“I have always believed that in my coaching career, if your head coach moves on or steps down at either international or club level, then from an integrity point of view, I must also step down,” Gray was quoted in the FRU statement.

“I have coached with Vern for eight years, and have a huge amount of respect for him as a coach and as a person, so on that basis, it’s a very easy decision for me.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to pass on my best wishes to the players and all remaining staff for a successful World Cup campaign.”

FRU general manager high-performance Simon Raiwalui thanked Gray for his involvement with not only the national team but also for passing on his knowledge and expertise to the sevens program, high-performance managers and strength conditioning coaches over the past three years.

“As a union, we respect his decision and would like to put on record that he will always be welcome back to Fiji,” said Raiwalui.