Coaching shake-up Down Under
Rugby Australia’s Director of Rugby Scott Johnson will finish up at the end of the year, while the men’s and women’s Sevens coaches will swap jobs in an organisational shake-up announced on Friday.
Tim Walsh will return to his former position overseeing the women’s Sevens team, whom he steered to gold at the 2016 Olympics, while John Manenti will take a jump across to the men’s side.
Johnson was brought on board three years ago to oversee the Wallabies program and former coach Michael Cheika.
He has also been a Wallabies selector since 2019 and played an integral role in the recruitment of current Australia coach Dave Rennie.
RA intends to bring in a high-performance director who will work as a conduit between Super Rugby franchises and the national body.
RA boss Andy Marinos said Johnson stepped into his position at a “difficult time”.
“On behalf of Australian Rugby, I want to thank Scott for his terrific contribution to the game over the last three years,” Marinos said.
“He stepped into his role at a difficult time … and leaves Australian rugby in a better place.”
Meanwhile, the Sevens swap was also announced following a post-Olympics review, where both teams fell short of expectations.
The coaches have been away with their current teams in the world series, with Manenti’s women’s team claiming back-to-back titles in the last fortnight.
But the review decided both were better suited to the other’s program, with the pair locked in until the end of 2024.
“After careful consideration, we felt they were the best two coaches to lead the respective programs forward into the future,” Marinos said.
“They both have a lot to offer and we’re looking forward to seeing what they can do over the next three years as we prepare not only for the Commonwealth Games and Sevens World Cup later this year but also the Olympics in Paris in 2024.”
The coaches will transition in the coming weeks.
Walsh has spent the past three years with the men after his women’s team won silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games when Manenti took over the role.