New Zealand rugby has lost another promising coach, with Manawatu's Jason O'Halloran joining Vern Cotter in Scotland.

Cotter took over as Scotland coach last year after previously coaching Clermont (2006-14) in the French competition.

O'Halloran, who guided Manawatu to the ITM Championship title last year, is reportedly being charged with backs, attack and skills in his Scotland role.

It's a big loss not only for Manawatu rugby - last year's title was their first since 1980 - but also New Zealand. He has been with the Turbos for eight years, three as head coach, and will see out this year's ITM Cup.


He turned down a skills role with the Hurricanes earlier this year and had been talked about as an option for another Super Rugby franchise.

"Vern made contact over the New Year to say they were looking for an attack coach with the Scotland team," O'Halloran told Fairfax. "I went over for a few days in February to check it out.

"I didn't foresee I would get an opportunity with an international side so it's a pretty good opportunity."

The Blues' coaching saga has once again highlighted the dearth of coaching options in this country.

Warren Gatland (Wales), Joe Schmidt (Ireland) and Cotter are all overseas, as is Robbie Deans (Panasonic in Japan).

Former Counties coach Milton Haig has taken Georgia ahead of Italy in the world rankings and sparked rumblings that the eastern European nation is ready to join the Six Nations.

Former All Blacks flanker Jono Gibbes has carved out a name for himself, firstly with Leinster and now with Clermont, and Chiefs assistant Tom Coventry is joining London Irish after this Super Rugby campaign.