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Johnson to leave Ospreys post
ESPNscrum Staff
December 27, 2011
Ospreys head coach Scott Johnson, Leicester Tigers v Ospreys, Heineken Cup, Welford Road, Leicester, England, October 11, 2009
Scott Johnson helped the Ospreys to victory in the Magners League Grand Final in 2010 © Getty Images
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Scott Johnson will leave his post as Ospreys' director of coaching at the end of the season.

The former Wales and Australia assistant coach was appointed in April 2009, signing a three-year contract with the Welsh region. But prior to Boxing Day's clash with the Scarlets, which the Ospreys lost 22-14, he informed the board he would leaving when his current contract expires at the end of this season.

Reports suggest he could be set to take up a role with the Scottish Rugby Union as Scotland head coach Andy Robinson seeks to add an experienced international coach to his team. Johnson's solicitor, Duncan Sandlant, of Esportif international, told the BBC: "Scott has a number of options which he is seriously considering."

On his decision to leave the Ospreys, Johnson said: "Having initially committed myself to the Ospreys for three years, I've taken the time to consider my future plans and have advised the directors that while I intend to see out the remainder of my contract I will not be looking to renew at the end of the season.

"When I joined the region I had a remit to help set-up systems that would enable us to bring through home grown talent, coaches and players, a challenge I've thoroughly enjoyed getting my teeth into over the last three years.

"I feel that now is the right time for me to move on to other challenges but I remain 100 per cent committed to the Ospreys between now and the end of the season."

The Ospreys reached the last eight in the Heineken Cup and won the first Magners League Grand Final in Johnson's first season in charge. Last season they reached the Magners League play-off and they currently lie second in the table this season.

Ospreys chief operations officer Andrew Hore said: "It is a huge disappointment for us to be losing Scott at the end of the season, but we understand that he feels it is the right time for him to move on to other challenges having served the three years he committed himself to us for originally.

"He'll be sadly missed by everybody at the Ospreys when he moves on, but by informing us of his intentions at this early stage, it allows us to use this time to consider our next course of action and the options available to us as we plan for the future."

The Ospreys saw three of their Wales internationals - Mike Phillips, James Hook and Lee Byrne - move to French club rugby earlier this year, but under Johnson's guidance, promising young players have continued to be discovered and developed.

Ospreys managing director Roger Blyth added: "Scott is an innovative thinker who has worked tirelessly for the cause since joining the Ospreys.

"While he has brought silverware to the Liberty Stadium - and we hope that will be the case once again this season - the real legacy he will leave is the systems and structures he has helped to develop that will allow us to continue leading the way in Wales.

"The work he has put in over the last three years will ensure that the Ospreys continue to be known as a centre of excellence in development terms.

"In doing so, it will allow us to continue to compete at the top level, despite the ever-increasing financial pressures we face both locally and from outside of Wales. We wish him the very best of luck for the future."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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