Rennie's Wallaby team nears completion
TRANSFER NEWS: Rugby Australia has moved another step closer to finalising its new-look Wallabies coaching team,
It was revealed on Friday that former Scotland and Queensland Reds assistant Matt Taylor has signed on as defence coach.
Taylor will return home after an eight-year stay in Scotland, where he served as defence coach for both the national team and Pro14 outfit Glasgow Warriors – until becoming a full-time assistant to Scotland coach Gregor Townsend in 2017.
A Queensland junior representative player, the 47-year-old cut his teeth in coaching with The Southport School on the Gold Coast before linking with the Reds as defence coach and helping the team to a maiden Super Rugby title in 2011.
Four years later he was back on the podium, this time as a Pro12 (now Pro14) champion with the Warriors.
Taylor, who has Scottish-born parents, will link up once again with Rugby Australia Director of Rugby Scott Johnson, who held the same position with Scotland during Taylor’s time coaching with the national team.
As a player, Taylor had stints with Aberdeen, Edinburgh, and Exeter Chiefs, as well as representing Scotland A and the Australian Barbarians.
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“Matt is someone who I have had a lot do with, and someone I regard very highly as a coach,” Johnson said after signing Taylor on a four-year deal to replace Nathan Grey.
“He’s a quality coach who has the experience, skillset and personality that we believe will fit really well in the coaching team we have assembled.
“It is great for Australian rugby to be able to bring back someone of Matt’s calibre. As I said at the start of this process, we wanted a strong Australian flavour and we’d do everything in our power to make sure we get what we think is a quality coaching group for the Wallabies.”
Taylor said it was an honour to be joining new head coach Dave Rennie at the Wallabies, less than a month after Scott Wisemantel was recruited as attack coach.
“After eight years of coaching in Europe I feel I have learnt a great deal, and I am looking forward to returning to Australia to help develop the exciting talent coming through the Australian ranks,” he said.
“The great Australian teams of the past have delivered a distinct style of play – they have been tough, competitive, and smart on both sides of the ball.
“I’m motivated to play my part in building a strong defensive team.”