SCOTLAND’S interim head coach Scott Johnson has given a clear indication that he will look to blood young talent in the RBS Six Nations Championship with a view to strengthening a squad for the 2015 World Cup.
In his first media conference since taking up the reins in the wake of Andy Robinson’s resignation, Johnson welcomed Dean Ryan to Murrayfield as Six Nations forwards coach as well as returning skills coach Stevie Scott and new Scotland A chief Shade Munro.
Asked whether he knew yet what his first XV to face England at Twickenham on 2 February looked like, Johnson said there are still places up for debate but major change to the side whitewashed in the autumn Tests was not likely. He said: “You can’t do wholesale changes in Scotland. We don’t have a massive player base to make wholesale changes.
“The reality is that we have got an eye on the future. The board and I have spoken about the need to be competitive at the next World Cup, so we’ve got to make sure that the mileage is on the clock in some of the selections. That might mean
taking an opportunity with some younger players.
“The reality is what’s available is available but, if it comes between player A and player B and we feel there is a future for, or we want to find out if there is a future for a player, we will take that player on. We have a few names pencilled in. There are a few question marks left and they will be determined partly on form and partly injury analysis. We’re not too far off.
“We are making decisions based on form and the future. All players who are available will be judged in those terms. But I will make decisions based on the future.
“Whether you agree with them or not, I’ll make them based on what I think is in the best interests of Scotland and not Scott Johnson.”