EDINBURGH, Scotland - Scott Johnson has a chance to make his job as Scotland interim coach more permanent after receiving the reins on Thursday to lead the team in the Six Nations and to South Africa in June.
The Scottish Rugby Union promoted the assistant as the short-term replacement for Andy Robinson, who resigned as coach on Nov. 25, a day after Scotland was humbled by Tonga 21-15 in Aberdeen.
In the meantime, the SRU said it was continuing its worldwide search for a permanent coach.
The 50-year-old Johnson, from Australia, became the senior assistant in Robinson's staff following this year's Six Nations, where Scotland lost every match. He helped the team beat Australia, Fiji and Samoa on its summer tour of the South Pacific, but all momentum was lost at home last month in defeats to New Zealand, South Africa and Tonga, causing Robinson to quit after three years in charge.
Johnson was an assistant for three Wales coaches, including during the 2005 Six Nations Grand Slam, before he became interim coach for three matches in 2006 without winning any.
He joined Australia's staff in the run-up to the 2007 World Cup, and took over the United States job for 2008. After a year in America, he returned to Wales as a director of coaching with Ospreys, then linked with Scotland.
As the coach of Wales and the U.S, he had one win, one draw and seven losses.
"He knows what it is to prepare teams to win on the international battleground," SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said in a statement. "Scott knows our players and coaches well and is determined to hit the ground running with a successful Six Nations championship."
Scotland opens against England at Twickenham on Feb. 2.
"It's an honour to take charge of the national team for our imminent campaign," Johnson said. "I will be doing everything I can to bring the best out of our players as we all seek to achieve winning performances."
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