Johnson appointed as Scotland Director of Rugby

Australia’s Scott Johnson will vacate his position as Scotland interim head
coach to take up a new post as the Scottish Rugby Union’s (SRU) director of
rugby, it was announced Friday.

Johnson, who guided Scotland to a creditable third place in this season’s Six
Nations, “will remain as as head coach of the national team until that
position is filled and will continue to have involvement with the Scotland team
through until the 2015 Rugby World Cup and beyond,” the SRU said in a statement.

Many within the Scottish game had wanted Johnson to continue as coach of the
national side but he had hinted previously at a broader role, particularly one
involving the preparation of coaches and that was reflected in his comments
on Friday.

“I’ve really enjoyed working with the players throughout the past year
and I’m looking forward to that continuing with our quadrangular tournament
in South Africa next month,” Johnson said.

“The director of rugby job excites me. It’s about making a really positive
contribution that will stand Scottish Rugby in good stead for years to come
and I am looking forward to the challenge of the new role as well as continuing
with the Scotland team,” added the 50-year-old, who previously had spells
in charge of Wales and the USA.

“There are some big areas such as coach development, player development,
sevens and player acquisition, where, working with colleagues throughout Scottish
Rugby, I want to do my bit to ensure we make best use of the talents we have
to take the game in this country forward,” explained Johnson, who joined
the SRU after the end of three years as director of coaching at Welsh regional
side the Ospreys.

Johnson joined the Scotland coaching staff ahead of last year’s successful
tour of Australasia but took charge on an interim basis after Andy Robinson
resigned following Scotland’s defeat by Tonga in November.

Earlier this week the SRU appointed former Wales hooker Jonathan Humphreys
as their new forwards coach and now Murrayfield officials will continue their
search for Johnson’s successor.

“It’s imperative that we get the right candidate as head coach of the
national team to take us to the 2015 Rugby World Cup and Scott and I are working
together on this and have thought long and hard about the best solution and
people for Scottish Rugby to continue to head in the right direction,”
said SRU chief executive Mark Dodson.

“Johnno has been a popular coach with the players, as underlined by our
third place finish in the most recent RBS 6 Nations Championship.

“As he’s said, he enjoys hands-on coaching and his reputation in that
role has been enhanced by his work with the Scotland team.

“Scott will lead on player acquisition and contracting. He’ll be responsible
for driving a new Academy structure and for heading up our coach development,
which includes our priority of nurturing the next generation of Scottish coaches
who can operate at elite level.”

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