Former Crusaders' assistant coach Vern Cotter has confirmed that he has applied for the All Blacks' coaching job.

Cotter recently re-signed with French club Clermont Auvergne, but told sports newspaper L'Equipe that he was interested in becoming Graham Henry's successor.

"Yes, I am a candidate for the job,'' Cotter said.

"I am fully committed to the work I have with Clermont ... but I still have a passion for New Zealand rugby. I want to play a part.''

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Cotter has a release clause in his contract which allows him to coach the All Blacks, but he faces a tough job convincing the New Zealand Rugby Union that he is a more worthy candidate than Steve Hansen.

Hansen, an assistant coach under Henry for eight years, is considered a shoo-in for the role.

Cotter was Robbie Deans' assistant at the Crusaders in 2005-06.