Jonathan Humphreys to leave Glasgow Warriors coaching role at end of season

Former international hooker will join Wales national team set-up after World Cup

Jonathan Humphreys
Jonathan Humphreys will wave goodbye to Glasgow Warriors at the end of the current season. Image: © Craig Watson

JONATHAN HUMPHREYS will leave his role as Glasgow Warriors forwards coach at the end of the season to join incoming Wales head coach Wayne Pivac’s backroom team following the 2019 World Cup.

The former hooker made 35 appearances for Wales between1995 and 2003, 19 of them as captain, before beginning his coaching career with the Ospreys in 2005. He moved north to become the Scotland national team forwards coach in 2013 and spent four years in the role before linking up with Dave Rennie at the Warriors (after Gregor Townsend took over in the Murrayfield hot-seat and brought Dan McFarland with him as his forwards guru).

Former Wales and Lions stand-off Stephen Jones has also been recruited to the Pivac coaching set-up.

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“It’s a huge honour to return to Wales during what is a really exciting time for Welsh Rugby,” said Humphreys. “The opportunity to come back and coach my country with Wayne and Stephen is one that I couldn’t turn down.

“I will always take great pride in my time here and the growth and success that the whole of Scottish Rugby have experienced in that time. In the meantime, I have a job to do in Glasgow and my focus will be solely here until the end of the season.

“The club set-up at Scotstoun is one of the best I have experienced during my coaching career and it would be fantastic to try and finish up with some silverware.”

It is not clear whether Rennie/Warriors/Scottish Rugby will recruit a replacement from inside or outside the country. Current SRU Director of Rugby Scott Johnson is also leaving the organisation soon (after the Six Nations), and one of his final major jobs will presumably be to help identify and recruit a suitable candidate.

Two native forwards coaches who may be in the frame are John Dalziel, who is currently in charge of the Scotland 7s squad, and Carl Hogg, who is overseeing the Scotland Under-20s side this season, worked with the national team during last summer’s tour of the Americas, and has previous experience with Leeds Carnegie, London Welsh, Edinburgh, Gloucester and Worcester Warriors.

“I’ve loved my time working with Humphs, he’s got a great sense of humour and an outstanding work ethic,” said Rennie. “He’s had a massive influence on our young pack. His attention to detail and technical excellence has overseen a huge improvement in our forwards over the last 18 months.

“It’s a great honour for him to go home and coach his country and he goes with our best wishes. We’ll all miss him.”

Two of the current Wales management team, Neil Jenkins and Paul ‘Bobby’ Stridgeon, are the first to announce they will remain in their roles post 2019.  Jenkins, Wales’ all-time record points scorer, has been part of the national squad coaching set-up since 2006 and will continue in his role. The highly regarded former fly-half has also been part of three British & Irish Lions tours as coach, in addition to his two tours as player.

Stridgeon, the WRU Head of Physical Performance, joined Wales ahead of the 2015 Rugby World Cup and has been an integral part of the Wales management team.  He was part of the 2009, 2013 and 2017 British & Irish Lions. Further coaching appointments will be made in due course.

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About David Barnes 4026 Articles
David has worked as a freelance rugby journalist since 2004 covering every level of the game in Scotland for publications including The Herald/Sunday Herald, The Sunday Times, The Telegraph, The Scotsman/Scotland on Sunday/Evening News, The Daily Record, The Daily Mail/Mail on Sunday and The Sun.