Interim Scotland rugby coach Scott Johnson has pledged he will not follow the apparent recent trend of making pre arranged substitutions when the RBS Six Nations Championship kicks off against England at Twickenham on Saturday.
A major issue in the Andy Robinson coaching regime was the way players were
withdrawn from matches when it seemed they were
having a positive influence and regardless of the scoreline.
Johnson made it clear situations arose behind the scenes which governed how long a player might be able to stay on the field but distanced himself completely from the notion of specific times for sending on ‘impact’ players.
“There are no preconceived ideas on substitutions,” said Johnson in confirming that any switches would be made in consultation with his assistants.
Referring to the areas from where pro coaches often now call the shots, he said: “There is plenty of discussion in the box as it unfolds. If it is fine he is staying on.”
At the same time Johnson said: “A lot depends on what is going on behind. If someone is injured (in a way that might restrict an 80 minute outing)
I’m not going to tell you. I work on the theory that there are a lot of bright coaches around the world who know what they are doing. They might not be telling but they know what they are doing.”
There was also a strong hint that he might have had a hand in bringing Scotland’s only debutant, Sean Maitland, over from New Zealand to qualify on ancestry.
“Maybe,” he smiled when asked if he had a hand in the
“Sean brings speed and a good understanding of rugby coming from a country that lives and breathes rugby.”