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Pat Cotter the Expat who Brought Rugby to Thailand



Pat Cotter (left) and ex-Leicester Tigers director Mike Penistone

Pat Cotter (left) and ex-Leicester Tigers director Mike Penistone


PHUKET – When you move to a foreign country for the first time there is always going to be something that you miss about home. For Pat Cotter, it was rugby

A long-term Phuket resident, Pat Cotter didn’t just sit around reminiscing about the days when he could actually play the sport – he set up a club which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year.

The Phuket Vagabonds was founded in 1994 when Cotter and a few like-minded friends managed to pull together a team to take on a touring rugby club,

“After a couple of mates relocated to Phuket we put a team together to play the Sri Lankan Champions, Kandy Rugby Club, who toured Phuket as a prize for winning their league,” said Pat. “Our scratch team of different nationalities put up a good challenge but was no match for the opposition, going down 56-7. After that, we decided that there were enough interested people now living on the island to form the Phuket Vagabonds.”

Rugby has a well-deserved reputation for being a sport whose aficionados take the social side of the game almost as seriously as any match and this is one of the reasons why it has played such an integral part of Cotter’s life,

“I first started playing rugby at primary school living in Wales,” said Pat. “I was about eight at the time and after we moved back to my home town Penrith in Cumbria I played all through school days there eventually captaining our school side for a while. I’ve always liked the physicality, camaraderie, respect and social interaction of the sport.” – By James Goyder

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