Danny Wilson: Ex-Blues coach to become Scotland assistant to Gregor Townsend

Danny Wilson oversees Cardiff Blues' warm-up before their European Challenge Cup final victory
Wilson led Cardiff Blues to European Challenge Cup glory with victory against Gloucester in Bilbao in May

Danny Wilson has been confirmed as Scotland's new forwards coach after Scottish Rugby agreed terms to release him from a deal to join Wasps.

The former Cardiff Blues coach was set to work under Wasps director of rugby Dai Young but will instead join Gregor Townsend's coaching team.

He will replace Dan McFarland, who is set to join Ulster in January, although Wilson's arrival could hasten his exit.

Townsend said he was "delighted" to secure the highly rated Wilson.

"I would like to thank Wasps and Dai Young for enabling that to happen," said the Scotland head coach.

"Danny has a lot of technical knowledge around the scrum, the line-out and the contact area, which is primarily the role he'll perform in our coaching set-up.

"He also brings much more to our group through his experience as a head coach at senior club level and U20 level, helping teams and individuals to reach their potential.

"We're coming into a period where we'll have more time with the players, particularly in the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2019, and I believe he'll have a really positive impact on an already really good group of forwards and continue to make that a strength for Scotland.

"He's someone I've got to know over the past few years and I am looking forward to seeing him working with our coaches and leading players."

'Scotland have made huge strides in recent years'

Wilson led the Blues to European Challenge Cup glory with victory against Gloucester in Bilbao in May and guided the region to Champions Cup qualification for the first time in four seasons last term.

He joined the Blues as head coach for the start of the 2015-2016 season after previously coaching Scarlets, Dragons, Wales Under-20s and Bristol.

However, he confirmed in September he would not be renewing his contract at the Arms Park after three years in charge.

"To coach international rugby and go to a Rugby World Cup is obviously the pinnacle of the sport and the goal of most professional coaches," Wilson said. "It was therefore a huge honour to be identified by Scotland and offered this role.

Danny Wilson salutes Cardiff Blues supporters
Wilson guided Cardiff Blues to a Champions Cup place after a fourth-place finish in Conference A of the Pro14

"This has obviously been a little unexpected and happened very quickly, so I'd like to thank Dai Young and Wasps for their consideration and understanding of this situation and wish them the very best of luck for the future.

"I think Scotland have made huge strides in recent years and play an exciting brand of rugby, with an ever-growing, quality player base.

"I'm really looking forward to working with and learning from Gregor and the rest of the staff and players in Scotland."

Former Worcester head coach Carl Hogg, who joined the Scotland staff on an interim basis, will see out the remainder of their current summer tour - with Saturday's Test against Argentina to come - before leaving the set-up.

Townsend added: "Carl's done an excellent job in a short space of time, building on the work Dan [McFarland] has done around the line-out, as was evidenced by our maul against Canada.

"I've enjoyed the past few weeks coaching alongside a good friend and I wish him well in the future."

Young admitted Wilson's decision to choose Scotland over Wasps was "a big disappointment".

"In addition, the timing could not be much worse," he said. "Finding someone of Danny's quality and experience who is available at this time of year to supplement our existing coaching team is a difficult proposition.

"Disappointing as this is, I understand that the opportunity to coach a tier-one international side through to and beyond the World Cup would always be difficult to turn down as opportunities like this do not come around very often."

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