Rugby: SRU say ‘hands off’ Scott Johnson

Scott Johnson. Picture: SNS
Scott Johnson. Picture: SNS
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Scottish Rugby will battle to keep Scott Johnson in the face of any overtures from his native Australia.

International media reports suggest Johnson is a candidate for the role of High Performance Unit Manager with the Wallabies having already been the subject of discussions within the Australian Rugby Union.

An SRU spokesman today admitted being aware of the speculation before issuing what was tantamount to a “hands off” warning in pointing out that Johnson was also employed in another capacity as well as interim head coach of the national side.

“As far as Scott Johnson is concerned he is contracted to Scottish Rugby.

“The present situation with his interim head coaching position is that he is coach until the South African tour (in June).

“But he has another job with Scottish Rugby which is on the performance side and bringing through the next generation of coaches,” said the spokesman.

Asked about a time-frame for a permanent appointment the spokesman said: “That process is still on-going.”

It is also being claimed that the vacancy as Scotland forwards coach created by Dean Ryan’s departure after a temporary appointment could be filled by another Aussie – Ewen McKenzie.

Currently with Queensland Reds, McKenzie is understood to be keen on testing himself at international level.

The SRU spokesman said: “It has been mentioned that there have been speculative remarks in the Australian press about Ewen McKenzie going to

Ireland and the next spot (if that fell through) seems to be Scotland. But it is just speculation.”

Were McKenzie, who has Scottish ancestry, to find his way to Murrayfield that would mean linking up with defence coach Matt Taylor, a former Scotland A flanker whose previous coaching job was at Queensland Reds.