Scott Johnson gets his jotters from Rugby Australia

Former Scottish Rugby Performance Director moved back to his homeland after the 2019 Six Nations

Scott Johnson left Scotland to become Director of Rugby in his native Australia after the 2019 Six Nations. Image: © Craig Watson -
Scott Johnson left Scotland to become Director of Rugby in his native Australia after the 2019 Six Nations. Image: © Craig Watson -

SCOTT JOHNSON’S contract as Director of Rugby for Rugby Australia will not be renewed at the end of this year, as part of a major shake-up of the organisation’s performance department.

The 59-year-old was previously Director of Performance Rugby in Scotland before moving back to his homeland in early 2019, and is understood to have been instrumental in the recruitment of Dave Rennie from Glasgow Warriors to become head coach of the Wallabies.

The Sydney Morning Herald has claimed that Johnson was told in Cardiff, after the Wales versus Australia Autumn Test  three weeks ago, that his position at the top of the tree was being dissolved as executives chase cost savings and an ambitious centralisation plan.

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The role is believed to pay $550,000 a year [around £300,000] and will be replaced by a chief high-performance officer. Sources with knowledge of the situation have apparently indicated he will not be considered for the new role, which will oversee high-performance programs for Australia’s Super Rugby sides – if chairman Hamish McLennan and chief executive Andy Marinos can pull off their planned reforms.

“He stepped into his role at a difficult time within Australian rugby and has played an important role at an important time for the game in Australia,” Marinos said in a statement.

“We have commenced a process that is reviewing our high performance-programme to drive a high performing environment to deliver sustainable success for all of our teams.”

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About David Barnes 3995 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.


  1. There is a reasonable response I would suggest to MisterC’s comment [10.26pm 10th] that Mr. Johnson and Mr. Dodson are ‘easy targets’.
    I’ve always considered that if an individual was an ‘Easy Target’ it was because, well frankly they are, just that, easy to criticise owing to the fact that a great deal of what they offer is Bluster & Waffle and too many Marketing words specifically introduced to create smoke and mirrors.
    I am afraid the Pie Muncher General was little more in my opinion than an Antipodian Flannel Merchant and the other gentleman gifted at ensuring that he is more than adequately imbursed having been ‘not wanted on Voyage’ in his previous position within a Local Media Group prior to heading to Roseburn Street.
    There’s nothing ‘Trendy’ about wanting clear answers to clear questions without obfuscation of a Bovine nature and in Mr. Johnson’s case like Mr. Dodson when the Australian restructuring was announced he also joined the ‘not wanted on voyage’ list, that says a lot it is a clear indication in my opinion that you just were not up to the ‘Job’.

  2. He put our entire structure back years and has caused enormous damage which will take years to recover from. An absolute charlatan.

    • Can you explain why we have more strength in depth at National level than we’ve ever had before? New Zealand rugby were amazed at the information base he had set up of players all over the world, the detail of his work was incredible. We just never were told by him what he was doing.

      • he had some low hanging fruit to pick in terms of sorting the academy structure. That seemed to produce some results but in fact most of the players who graduated from them were already in the system before Johnson was involved. As soon as his replacement was appointed it was thought not to be good enough and re-done IIRC.

        Outside of that he has a long track record of causing infighting and undermining others, going back to his days in Wales. he is also the man who black balled Barclay after being challenged. The Barclay who was summoned at 6.30 in the morning to be humiliated in front of other coaches; the Barclay who has been one of our best ever players and a renowned expert at the breakdown being lectured by a no nothing snake oil salesman about how to approach the breakdown

        Its not the first time he has been sacked, and if he is re-employed anywhere it won’t be the last. He always gets found out

      • Well said Iain, too many criticise the likes of SJ and while some criticism was valid, he did a good job in widening theb pool of players. There has been an uplift in the quality and quantity in the pool of SQ players in the past decade and there’s been a few gems unearthed in that time and that was under SJ’s watch.

        All too easy and trendy to knock the likes of SJ and Mark Dodson, but if you look at the gains of the past decade with less resources than almost all the other T1 nations, they’re due some credit.

  3. He will be a huge loss to RA, perhaps we may see a return to the SRU where, caretaker coaching aside, he was doing a good job.


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