Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Scotland pondering interim appointment

Andy Robinson's initial successor as Scotland head coach could be an interim boss, paving the way for Scott Johnson or Sean Lineen to take charge for the RBS 6 Nations.

Robinson resigned on Sunday following Saturday's 21-15 loss to Tonga in Aberdeen, a result which saw Scotland fall to 12th in the world rankings as a result of 10 losses in 13 Tests.

Johnson took up his position as senior assistant coach following the 2012 Six Nations whitewash, but the Australian could find himself in charge for the 2013 tournament, beginning with the clash against England. Lineen is already a Scottish Rugby Union employee, as head of player acquisition, having previously been Glasgow Warriors head coach.

Former Scotland wing Kenny Logan would favour Johnson being handed the role on a caretaker basis, following the example set by England last December, when Stuart Lancaster was appointed successor to Martin Johnson.

"It would be silly to try to get a coach for the start of the Six Nations," Logan, who won 70 caps between 1992 and 2003, told Press Association Sport. "Do what England have done, see how the players react and what happens.

"I wouldn't rush into getting somebody before Christmas. I'd let the team sweat and see how they perform under Scott Johnson. There's not loads of coaches going to jump for the job, it's a big job to take on."

Robinson's coaching team of Johnson, defence coach Matt Taylor, scrum coach Massimo Cuttitta and kicking coach Duncan Hodge remain in their posts.

Johnson, or Lineen, could be given the opportunity to prove their credentials while a global search for suitable candidates is conducted. It is understood expressions of interest have already been made and the formal process could begin by the end of this week.

Led by SRU chief executive Mark Dodson, discussions over Robinson's successor have begun, with Nick Mallett, Jake White, Todd Blackadder, Wayne Smith and Bryan Redpath rumoured contenders. Some have commitments elsewhere, meaning an interim appointment would make sense.

Although Johnson's time as interim boss of Wales was not an overwhelming success, Logan is happy with his credentials. Logan added: "If Scott Johnson does well, give him the job. Every coach has got baggage."


From Belfast Telegraph