Saturday 21 April 2018

Johnson set to lead Scotland for Six Nations

Alasdair Reid

Scott Johnson is expected to be confirmed as Andy Robinson's successor as new Scotland coach within the next 48 hours, although it is understood that the Australian will be handed the role only on a caretaker basis, with a permanent appointment to be made after the forthcoming Six Nations championship.

Former Glasgow coach Sean Lineen had also been touted for the role, but Johnson's international experience – he has held posts with Wales, Australia and the USA – provided the 50-year-old with a critical edge.

Indeed, he was appointed as Robinson's senior assistant earlier this year on the basis that he could take over as head coach should Robinson be invited to work with the Lions.

A dismal sequence of results put paid to that possibility long before last month's 21-15 loss to Tonga in Aberdeen brought Robinson's reign as head coach to an end. To turn to Lineen would also have been an embarrassing volte face for the Scottish Rugby Union, given that he was deposed as Glasgow coach only a few months ago.

However, Johnson has acquired a colourful and sometimes controversial reputation during his time as a coach, and the famously conservative SRU might baulk at handing him such a high-profile role.

Elsewhere, Jonny Wilkinson has revealed that he would consider accepting a coaching role at Toulon once his playing days are over. The former England fly-half has also revealed that he will make a definitive call in the new year as to when he will retire. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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