LONDON – Scotland has appointed former Ospreys boss Steve Tandy as its new defense coach after announcing earlier Friday that head coach Gregor Townsend’s deputy Matt Taylor had been allowed to join Australia with immediate effect.
Scottish Rugby also announced it had hired former France prop Pieter de Villiers to work as a scrum coach on a “short-term capacity” through the upcoming Six Nations.
Tandy, who was in charge of Welsh regional side the Ospreys for six seasons until 2018, joins the Scotland set-up from Australian Super Rugby side Waratahs, having helped developed the New South Wales side’s ‘blue wall.”
Scotland shut out both Samoa and Russia at this year’s Rugby World Cup, recording back-to-back clean sheets but still exited at the group stage following decisive defeats to Ireland and Japan.
“Defense is a huge part of the game which I am extremely passionate about. With my experiences from both the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, I feel I can add to the Scotland set up moving forward,” said Tandy in a Scottish Rugby Union statement.
Townsend, welcoming his new recruits, said: “It’s great to bring someone of Steve Tandy’s experience on board.
“We’re also pleased to welcome Pieter into the group. He’s passionate about the scrum.”
Brisbane-born Taylor, who played for Scotland A thanks to his Fife parents, joined the Scotland set-up as both defence coach for the national team and the Glasgow Warriors before becoming a full-time assistant when the former Scotland playmaker took charge of the test side.
“As teammates back at the Borders we talked a lot about the possibility of going into coaching, then we used to share notes and learnings as we began our coaching careers on opposite sides of the world,” said Townsend.
“Matt is passionate about coaching, helping players and the team improve, and also continually striving to be a better coach.
“We wish him all the best in his new challenge, working with the country he grew up in. I’m sure he’ll do a great job,” he added.
Taylor is the latest recruit to new Wallabies coach Dave Rennie’s staff in a matter of weeks after ex-England attack coach Scott Wisemantel came on board.
Scotland begins the 2020 Six Nations Championship away to Ireland on Feb. 1.