Humphreys appointment hints at deal for Johnson

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Former Wales hooker Jonathan Humphreys has been appointed Scotland forwards coach, in another indication that interim head coach Scott Johnson will be appointed on a permanent basis.

Humphreys, 44, will leave a similar position at Ospreys at the end of the season to take up his new role after signing a 
two-year deal.

He will replace former England forward Dean Ryan, who quit his Murrayfield post after a short-term stint working with interim Dark Blues head coach Scott Johnson during this year’s RBS Six Nations.

Humphreys will join the Scotland management team ahead of the quadrangular tournament with Samoa, South Africa and Italy in June.

He worked with Johnson for a spell when the Australian was employed by Ospreys as director of rugby from 2009 before moving to Scotland to assist former head coach Andy Robinson last year.

It is understood that Johnson is on the cusp of agreeing a new contract with the SRU that will see him in charge of the national team until the end of the 2015 Rugby World Cup. Humphreys’ arrival means that Johnson has managed to attract a coach who he trusts and values from time spent together when Johnson was at Ospreys.

Humphreys, pictured, said: “I’m very excited by the challenge of working with the Scotland players and management and building on the very solid foundations that are in place.

“I know Scott well from our time together at the Ospreys and it will be great to renew acquaintance with a man who has such a sharp rugby brain.”

The former Cardiff and Bath forward, who won 35 caps for Wales in an international career that also saw him selected for both the 1995 and 1999 World Cups, was appointed forwards coach at the Ospreys in 2005.

During his tenure with the Swansea club, Humphreys helped them claim a record three RaboDirect Pro12 titles as well as the EDF Energy Cup in 2008, but said he was leaving the club with a “heavy heart”.

Of the 23 forwards named by Wales in the lead up to this year’s Six Nations, eight worked with Humphreys at Ospreys.

Scottish Rugby’s chief executive, Mark Dodson, said: “Jonathan impresses us. He’s a very astute coach and when you look at the players he has nurtured to the very highest levels of the game then clearly he has much to offer.”

Ospreys chief operations officer Andrew Hore, meanwhile, paid tribute to the departing coach.

“Jonathan has been a tremendous servant to the Ospreys, his home region, playing a big part in our successes over the last eight years.”