The Ospreys today (29/1/09) confirmed that Scott Johnson has accepted the role of Director of Coaching, with Sean Holley formally appointed as Head Coach and Jonathan Humphreys as Assistant Coach.
Johnson will join the Ospreys at the end of the season having yesterday given the three months notice to USA Rugby required under the terms of his existing contract.
Ospreys Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, said: "This has been a long process, one we said we wouldn't rush from the outset, and our overriding priority has been about establishing a coaching structure that will benefit not only the Ospreys but the Region as a whole.
"We have considered over 20 coaches with the potential to measure up to a list of firm criteria and believe Scott Johnson contains the right mixture of technical ability - particularly on the attacking side of the game - strong character, excellent communication skills, planning, management ability and innovation to help the Ospreys take the next step forward.
"Vitally, Scott will help ensure that progress is made on and off the field, through the continued development of the existing coaching team to whom the Ospreys are firmly committed and who, we believe, have the ability to go from good to great Welsh coaches in their own right.
"Sean Holley and Jonathan Humphreys have shown enormous character and skill during a difficult transition period for the Ospreys and they have earned the respect of the entire Region. They are pivotal to the future success of the Ospreys which is why, three months ago, Sean and Jon's contracts were extended for a further three years.
"Scott's role as Director of Coaching will, to a large extent, see him working with Sean and Jon to help deliver the next stage of their professional development as coaches. Our firm belief is that this, in turn, will enhance their existing talent further to the point where they not only have the skill set to drive the Ospreys forward, but also the additional experience to grow and develop coaches beneath them. This will help create an ongoing cycle of coaching development that, in the long term, will allow the Ospreys to produce excellent local coaches on a consistent basis.
"The Ospreys are, in essence, embarking upon a highly planned, structured programme aimed at developing the Welsh coaches of tomorrow; a programme that will extend throughout the Region and will see the development of coaches match the priority currently placed on the development of Welsh players.
"The link between coach development and player development is critical to continued growth and success, a link that has been recognised, focussed and seized upon most notably in the Southern Hemisphere. The foundations of this programme have now been laid, Filo Tiatia and Andrew Millward have been recently appointed to key coaching and development roles and, headed by Scott, Sean and Jon, this enhanced coaching team is key to future plans at the Ospreys."
Ospreys Head Coach Sean Holley said: "Both Jon and I are delighted to have our roles confirmed on a permanent basis and are excited about the prospect of working closely with such an innovative and forward thinking coach as Scott Johnson, who has an excellent worldwide reputation in the game.
"I know Scott well from his previous time in Wales and I'm looking forward to developing a strong working relationship with him that will help to take the Ospreys to the next level. Throughout the search for a third coach, both Jon and myself have played an active part in the discussions and our views and opinions have been fully reflected throughout the process.
"It has been an honour to lead my home region over the course of this season to date, and Jon and I remain as committed as ever to bringing long term success to the Ospreys as part of this new-look coaching team, whilst continuing our personal journeys aimed at extending our coaching duties in the not too distant future.
"Right now though our attention is firmly fixed on the three titles we still have in sight and we'll be doing everything we can to achieve the best possible result for the team and its supporters. This is an exciting new chapter for the Ospreys and for the Region, and it's one we can't wait to get into."
Nearly 40 players were involved in the first Wales Under 18 training session of the season. WRU National Performance Manager Gethin Watts is excited at the potential shown by the group and expects the Regional Under 18 Championship to hone their skills even further.