Assistant coaches staying with Scotland

Scotland have confirmed that assistant coaches Jonathan Humphreys (forwards) and Matt Taylor (defence) have both extended their current contracts.

The new deals represent further continuity for the national team, with head coach Vern Cotter, resource coach Nathan Hines, and newly arrived assistant coach, Jason O’Halloran (backs), also secured in post until 2017 at least.

Scotland head coach, Vern Cotter, said: “Keeping both Jonathan and Matt involved is very good news for the national team, and for the development of future Scotland players.

“They are good people who have contributed a great deal towards the standards we set and the style we play, continually offering new and innovative ways to raise the bar for the Scotland team.”

Taylor joined Scottish Rugby in 2012 as assistant coach to both Glasgow Warriors and the national team, a year after helping the Queensland Reds lift the Super Rugby title.

Three seasons later he helped steer the Warriors to their 2015 Guinness PRO12 triumph, giving him – like Cotter – the accolade of winner's medals from top tier club competitions in both the northern and southern hemispheres.

Taylor said: “It’s been an absolute pleasure to work with the national team and I feel that we’ve made massive strides in all the areas of our play.

“Our performances in the Rugby World Cup are a really good example of how this team is moving forward and I think there are bigger and better things ahead as we target the RBS 6 Nations over the coming years.”

Former Wales hooker and captain Jonathan Humphreys, earned 35 caps for his country, taking in two Rugby World Cups (1995 and 1999) before moving into coaching.

He joined the national set-up north of the border in the summer of 2013, having lifted three PRO12 titles (2007, 2010 and 2012), as well as the Anglo-Welsh Cup (2008) in a seven-year spell with Ospreys.

Since arriving he has also worked closely with the Scottish Rugby Academy to help forge the increasingly consistent pack performances enjoyed by the national team’s experienced and blossoming young talent, longer term.

Humphreys said: “I’ve really enjoyed my time in the role and it’s great to extend my contract because there’s bags of potential in this team.

“Over the next 18 months or so I believe we’ll really start to see this team realise that potential; and it’ll be hugely satisfying to be part of something that could be quite special.”

Scottish Rugby Chief Executive, Mark Dodson, said: “We’re delighted to have secured the services of Jonathan and Matt who contribute a great deal to the improved performances of the Scotland team, and Scottish rugby as a whole; Matt, who has done great things as Glasgow Warriors Defence Coach, and Jonathan through his work with the Scottish Rugby Academy players.

“The continuity secured by keeping quality coaches in post – combined with adding fresh ideas through the appointment of Jason O’Halloran – will allow us to continue to drive forward the performances of Scotland’s professional and representative teams.”