Johnson to make Australian rugby debut in Newcastle


New Australian rugby overlord Scott Johnson will make the Waratahs’ round-seven conflict with the Sunwolves his first order of business after touching down in Australia this week.

Johnson, Rugby Australia’s new director of rugby and one 0.33 of the Wallabies new Test choice panel, begins paintings on Thursday.

He will be based totally in Brisbane but spend an awful lot of his time on the road, according to RA chief executive Raelene Castle, “building relationships” and oiling the wheels of the enterprise’s new excessive overall performance model, to rev into equipment over the coming months.

On Friday he will take his first near take a look at Super Rugby considering the fact that is leaving Australia extra than a decade ago, sitting inside the stands at McDonald Jones Stadium in Newcastle for the Waratahs’ clash with axed Japanese side the Sunwolves.


There may be a lot to absorb for the previous Wallabies assistant and Scotland head coach, who spent the past five years as Scotland’s director of rugby. With a large quick, Johnson may be interested in the Waratahs’ large cluster of Test players, but also some of their up-and-coming expertise and the crew’s four coaches, all of whom are nonetheless inside the early stages of their careers.

Johnson will also provide his first interviews on domestic soil, giving Australian rugby fanatics their first look at what his imaginative and prescient will be for the Wallabies and Australia’s broader high-performance program.

If his parting interview in Scotland became any indication, the Australian would not shrink back from making tough calls. He became controversial in a few parts of his former domestic, considered as a shadowy discern with little duty.

“Everyone wants to be appreciated, but I’m no longer within the process simply to be favored. I’m not a baby-kisser,” Johnson told BBC Scotland final weekend.

“People that make these feedback do not know me and that’s quality, they may be entitled to their evaluations. The aim turned into to get it (Scottish rugby) right, and I assume we did ways extra proper than incorrect.”

After two years as interim head educate, Johnson surpassed over the reins to his appointment Vern Cotter. Cotter and his successor, Gregor Townsend, went directly to recast Scotland as a competitive strength within the global landscape, the team infamously happening to Australia in an arguably 2015 World Cup quarter very last.

Domestically the USA’s provincial teams additionally stepped forward, Glasgow prevailing the old Pro12 title in 2015 and Johnson recruit Richard Cockerill assisting remodel Edinburgh. Both groups are inside the sector-finals of the European Champions Cup this season for the first time.

“Our improvement has been as first-rate as absolutely everyone else’s,” Johnson informed the BBC.

“My dad used to have a pronouncing, ‘If you need to be good at something, make it more essential.’ We’ve made rugby a lot greater important. The growth in Scottish rugby in my time here, now not attributable to me, has been immeasurable.

“I sincerely suppose it is the only team sport, of the ball codes, that Scotland may want to win a World Cup in. It’s the game in which I suppose the success and development of the Scotland crew have given a vision of that to the Scottish people.

“Australia has been framed as an extensive rugby state. If we are competing towards a country that is received World Cups and reached the final of the last one, we are now not one million miles off. We’re no longer.”

Castle made it clear Johnson’s early attentions would gain knowledge of at the Super Rugby teams.

“Scott’s first position is to start constructing relationships,” she said ultimate Friday.

“He goes to be spending time here in Rugby Australia operating with the Wallabies after which similarly spending some nice time with the franchises.

“[It will be] three or four days at a time and ensuring he builds those relationships and understands the exclusive challenges that each of these environments present.”

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