Scotland in no rush to confirm new coach
April 3, 2013
Scott Johnson is the favourite to land the full-time coaching post with Scotland © PA Photos
The Scottish Rugby Union is adamant that it will not rush appointing a successor to Andy Robinson despite reports suggesting that Scott Johnson is on the verge of landing the post on a permanent basis.
Johnson took charge of the Scotland side throughout the Six Nations and led them to victories over Ireland and Italy. This was a stark contrast to the previous year where they finished the championship without a win to their name and the wooden spoon.
But Johnson - who was assisted by former England forward Dean Ryan during the tournament - has refused to confirm whether he will stay on as Robinson's permanent successor until after talks with the SRU. Reports in the Telegraph on Tuesday suggested a sticking point on a deal concerns whether Johnson's role will be expanded to cover player development, with the title of director of rugby being considered.
SRU CEO Phil Dodson, however, claims that those reports are premature and that discussions are ongoing. "We are still talking to Scott and have been doing so pretty much since the Six Nations ended," Dodson said. "We said we would sit down at the end of the tournament and talk about the next steps and we are still doing that. The Telegraph story is just supposition.
"I wouldn't like to be too categorical about anything because Scott and I still have a lot to talk about. The Six Nations are only just finished and this is going to take a certain amount of time to wash through. But we are very happy with what Scott and Dean did over the whole of the Six Nations period. The talks will take place and we will make an announcement in due course."
Dodson refused to rule out handing Johnson an expanded portfolio but did say that the entire SRU coaching structure could be redrawn. He recently named former Scotland hooker Stevie Scott as interim Edinburgh head coach following Michael Bradley's failed reign but will make an announcement of a full-time replacement following his talks with Johnson.
Dodson said: "We are looking at the whole coaching structure in Scottish rugby. We have several vacancies to fill so what I want to do is take my time and make sure we bring in the right blend of coaches."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the remarkable events in Brisbane and the first round of the European Rugby Champions Cup
Following Saturday's shock announcement, we look at the highs and the lows of Ewen McKenzie's brief stint as Wallabies coach.
"I think the work I do in defence gets spoken of a little too much as it comes at the expense of what I do in attack." Brad Barritt talks to Tom Hamilton
The European Champions Cup: what's changed and what's new in the revamped competition previously known as the Heineken Cup?