Ryan takes up Scotland role

Former England number eight Dean Ryan will coach Scotland's forwards at the forthcoming Six Nations, the Scottish Rugby Union has announced.

The ex-Gloucester head coach will take on the role as interim forwards coach, assisting interim head coach Scott Johnson.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said: "Dean will be with us for 12 weeks and will bring all his top-flight coaching savvy and experience to benefit our forward pack."

Ryan, who won four caps for England during a playing career which saw him represent Saracens, Wasps, Newcastle and Bristol, said: "I've responded to an invitation from Scott to assist the Scotland management team over the next 12 weeks and will look to bring my experience to bear to give Scotland players the best opportunity to represent their country in the best way."

Johnson was appointed caretaker boss last month after Andy Robinson's resignation followed the November loss to Tonga which left Scotland 12th in the International Board Rugby world rankings.

The 46-year-old Ryan and former Scotland hooker Stevie Scott, who has been appointed interim skills coach, complete the coaching team for the Six Nations, which for Scotland begins on February 2 at Twickenham against England.

The duo will start work on Monday as part of Johnson's coaching group, which also includes defence coach Matt Taylor and kicking coach Duncan Hodge and scrum coach Massimo Cuttitta.

Johnson told "I'm delighted we have secured the services of Dean and Stevie for this year's championship.

"To get people of their calibre mid-season is a real coup. Dean is a sound, knowledgeable, mature rugby man and Stevie, with his background of having played 11 times for Scotland, knows what it means to wear the jersey.

"With Matt, Hodgey and Massimo already fully engaged in Six Nations planning, we've now a management team in place for the start of the championship next month."

Dodson added: "I believe in Dean and Stevie that we have a combination here of hard-nosed experience and deep-rooted understanding of Scottish rugby and its players, which Scott Johnson and his management team will be able to call upon."

Former Scotland fly-half Hodge will also be part of the Scotland A team coaching group, as backs coach, for their only fixture of the Six Nations window, against England Saxons in Newcastle on February 1.

Glasgow forwards coach Shade Munro will be the A team's head coach, with Scott Murray, Scotland's most-capped forward with 87 caps between 1997 and 2007, also assisting.

Murray has been coaching the pack as well as playing for Mont de Marsan in France's Top 14.