Johnson leaves coaching role but remains with Scotland
SCOTT Johnson is to vacate his position as Scotland interim head coach to take up a new role as the Scottish Rugby Union's director of rugby.
The Australian, who led Scotland to a third-place finish in the RBS 6 Nations, is set to take charge of the team for their summer tournament with Italy, Samoa and hosts South Africa.
The SRU said Johnson would remain as head coach until the position is filled and will "continue to have involvement with the Scotland team through until the 2015 Rugby World Cup and beyond".
Johnson joined the Scotland coaching team ahead of last summer's successful tour of Australasia and took over on an interim basis after Andy Robinson resigned following Scotland's defeat by Tonga in November.
The SRU appointed Jonathan Humphreys as Scotland's forwards coach earlier this week and will continue to work with Johnson to identify his successor.
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Chief executive Mark Dodson said: "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.
"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.
"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 and the 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.
"As I say, this is an importantly strategic role for Scottish Rugby and Scott is an outstanding candidate.
"Until we finalise our search for the next Scotland head coach, Scott will lead the Scotland tour to South Africa this summer."