Danny Wilson named new Scotland assistant coach

Former Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson will succeed Dan McFarland in Gregor Townsend's coaching staff. Picture: Getty Images
Former Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson will succeed Dan McFarland in Gregor Townsend's coaching staff. Picture: Getty Images
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Scottish Rugby has confirmed the appointment of former Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson, who will join the national team set-up as Assistant Coach to Gregor Townsend.

Wilson’s arrival as forwards coach was mooted last week, despite the former Wales Under-20 coach having already agreed to join up with Gallagher Premiership outfit Wasps for the 2018/19 season.

A compensation deal has now been thrashed out between the Coventry outfit and Scottish Rugby to allow Wilson to fulfil his ambition of working within the Test arena.

He will take up his new role in August with Carl Hogg - who was appointed on an interim basis for the Summer Tour - continuing his temporary duties until the end of the current campaign.

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Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend welcomed the appointment, adding: “Danny has a lot of technical knowledge around the scrum, the lineout and the contact area, which is primarily the role he’ll perform in our coaching set-up.

“He also brings much more to our group through his experience as a Head Coach at senior club level and U20 level, helping teams and individuals reach their potential.

“We’re coming into a period where we’ll have more time with the players, particularly in the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2019, and I believe he’ll have a really positive impact on an already really good group of forwards and continue to make that a strength for Scotland.

“He’s someone I’ve got to know over the past few years and I am looking forward to seeing him working with our coaches and leading players.”

Wilson will succeed Dan McFarland, who is taking the reins at Ulster from January 2019, and can call on eight years of experience in the PRO14 competition.

After two years with Dragons between 2010 and 2012, Wilson joined Scarlets and helped to reshape the Llanelli side’s pack while simultaneously coaching the Wales Under-20 side, leading them to a third and second-place finish in the 2012 and 2013 Junior World Championships.

He then moved on to Bristol, where he worked alongside former Scotland head coach Andy Robinson, before taking charge at Cardiff in 2015. One of his final acts as Cardiff head coach was to secure Heineken Champions Cup rugby for the 2018/19 season after leading them to European Challenge Cup glory in Bilbao over Gloucester.

Speaking ahead of the move Wilson said: “To coach international rugby and go to a Rugby World Cup is obviously the pinnacle of the sport and the goal of most professional coaches.

“It was therefore a huge honour to be identified by Scotland and offered this role.

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“This has obviously been a little unexpected and happened very quickly, so I’d like to thank Dai Young and Wasps for their consideration and understanding of this situation and wish them the very best of luck for the future.

“I think Scotland have made huge strides in recent years and play an exciting brand of rugby, with an ever-growing, quality player base.

“I’m really looking forward to working with and learning from Gregor [Townsend] and the rest of the staff and players in Scotland.”

Scottish Rugby’s Director of Rugby Scott Johnson added: “I’ve known Danny for a long time and I’ve seen him develop into a highly respected forwards coach.

“He has a wealth of experience across the broad forward disciplines of scrum, lineout and contact area that would be a welcome addition to any side and I’m delighted to have secured his services for the national team.”