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Scottish Rugby
Scott Johnson appointed Scotland boss
ESPN Staff
May 3, 2013
Scotland boss Scott Johnson watches on, Scotland v Italy, Six Nations, Murrayfield, Scotland, February 9, 2013
Scott Johnson did enough during the Six Nations to secure a full-time post © PA Photos
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Johnson was nailed on for the role

  • Scott Johnson was the obvious choice for the Scottish Rugby Union. Following a Six Nations campaign where he installed some pride back in the shirt, Scotland finished the championship with a rare feeling of optimism, something that has been amiss since the glory days of Hastings et al.
  • But it will not be an easy job for Johnson. With just two sides playing in the RaboDirect PRO12 he will face that familiar issue of trying to keep the country's best players turning out for either Glasgow or Edinburgh rather than opting for a move abroad. If he can achieve this, then he will have already won half the battle. The new role he has taken on seems fairly omnipotent and the choice of head coach will be one of the most important decisions he will face in his early days as director of rugby.
  • Tom Hamilton

The Scottish Rugby Union has appointed Scott Johnson as Scotland's permanent director of rugby with him continuing as head coach until they find a replacement.

Johnson was named interim Scotland head coach for the 2013 Six Nations, following Andy Robinson's departure, and led the side to third place in the standings with wins over Italy and Ireland to their name. And amid reported interest from the Australian Rugby Union, the SRU has managed to fend off any advances and keep their man on a deal until after the 2015 World Cup.

Johnson will now continue as head coach until they find a suitable candidate to fill the post while Jonathan Humphreys has already been recruited as their new forwards coach. The duo will now lead Scotland on their summer tour to South Africa where they will play the Springboks, Samoa and Italy.

And it seems much of Johnson's new role will involve managing the future of the game in Scotland with a focus on grassroots part of his remit. "Johnno [Scott Johnson] has been a popular coach with the players, as underlined by our third place finish in the most recent Six Nations Championship," SRU CEO Mark Dodson said. "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.

"But he also has other qualities in abundance that we wish to utilise and it was a decision that was made by both parties to get the best structures and systems in place to take Scottish rugby forward. The director of rugby is a hugely important appointment, one that is absolutely integral to Scotland's standing on the world stage in the next decade and beyond.

"This appointment is about laying the foundations as we prepare our teams for the key tests of their status that occur along the way to milestones like the 2015 Rugby World Cup in England the and 2019 Rugby World Cup in Japan.

"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. Scotland 7s and Scotland Women will also be significant parts of his remit, while two of the pillars of professional rugby, strength and conditioning and medical, will report into him too along with a significant involvement with the national team."

Dodson, having appointed Johnson, will now focus on recruiting "the right candidate as head coach of the national team to take us to the 2015 Rugby World Cup".

© PA Photos
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Johnson will bring a wealth of experience to the role having coached Wales, the USA and the Ospreys in the past and he is relishing the chance to take on his new role with the SRU. 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.

"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."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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