December 17, 2018 / 1:12 AM / 6 months ago

Rugby-Australia appoint Johnson as director of rugby over Cheika

SYDNEY, Dec 17 (Reuters) - Rugby Australia have responded to their worst test campaign in 60 years by appointing Scott Johnson as Director of Rugby over retained head coach Michael Cheika and instituting a national selection panel to choose the team.

Cheika has been under intense pressure after the Wallabies won just four of 13 tests in a year when coaches would be looking to set out their stall ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

A former Australia A, United States and caretaker Wales and Scotland coach, Johnson has been Director of Rugby at Scotland Rugby since 2013 and overseen an improvement in the fortunes of the Scottish game.

The 56-year-old was Wallabies attack coach at the 2007 World Cup under John Connolly but was released in a clearout of the coaching staff after Australia lost to England in the quarter-finals.

Reporting by Nick Mulvenney; Editing by Greg Stutchbury

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