Friday 14 December 2018

Good news for Ulster? Danny Wilson to replace Dan McFarland as Scotland forwards coach in August

Dan McFarland
Dan McFarland Newsdesk Newsdesk

Danny Wilson has pulled out of a move to join Wasps next season after being confirmed as Scotland's new forwards coach.

The former Cardiff head coach had been due to join the English club as an assistant this summer, but will instead join the Scottish ranks as support for Gregor Townsend.

Wilson will replace the outgoing Dan McFarland, who is set to join Guinness PRO14 side Ulster, after a deal was agreed with Wasps to let him join Scotland ahead of next year's World Cup.

The Welshman comes off the back of a successful campaign with Cardiff - his third at the helm - in which he led the Blues to European Challenge Cup glory and secured Champions Cup qualification in the process.

He will join Townsend's coaching staff in August after their current tour of the Americas where they have currently won one and lost one.

"I'm delighted that we've been able to secure Danny's services and would like to thank Wasps and Dai Young (Wasps Director of Rugby) for enabling that to happen," Townsend told Scottish Rugby.

"Danny has a lot of technical knowledge around the scrum, the lineout and the contact area, which is primarily the role he'll perform in our coaching set-up.

"He also brings much more to our group through his experience as a head coach at senior club level and U20 level, helping teams and individuals reach their potential.

"We're coming into a period where we'll have more time with the players, particularly in the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2019, and I believe he'll have a really positive impact on an already really good group of forwards and continue to make that a strength for Scotland."

The appointment could mean McFarland's departure is hastened, with his move to Ulster initially pencilled in for January, but with Wilson due to join up with the squad in August it could be that Townsend's long-term number two moves on ahead of schedule.

It will leave Wasps looking for a replacement for Wilson, who was set to work under Dai Young next season, but the lure of a World Cup was too much to turn down.

"To coach international rugby and go to a Rugby World Cup is obviously the pinnacle of the sport and the goal of most professional coaches. It was therefore a huge honour to be identified by Scotland and offered this role," said Wilson.

"This has obviously been a little unexpected and happened very quickly, so I'd like to thank Dai Young and Wasps for their consideration and understanding of this situation and wish them the very best of luck for the future."

Young added in a statement: "This is a big disappointment for us.

"In addition, the timing could not be much worse. Finding someone of Danny's quality and experience who is available at this time of year to supplement our existing coaching team is a difficult proposition.

"Disappointing as this is, I understand that the opportunity to coach a tier one international side through to and beyond the World Cup would always be difficult to turn down as opportunities like this do not come around very often."

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