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Last Updated: Sunday, 19 March 2006, 17:02 GMT
Wales need a Braveheart - Johnson
Scott Johnson
Scott Johnson shows his frustration during Wales' loss to France
Scott Johnson says the next Wales coach will need to be tougher than Braveheart to deal with the amount of backstabbing that comes with the job.

Johnson drew one and lost two as Wales caretaker coach after taking charge following Mike Ruddock's resignation.

But his latest views are the clearest indication yet he will turn his back on Wales and head home to Australia.

"Look at my back, it's so bloodstained. Even Braveheart didn't have as many bloodstains as I've got," said Johnson.

"Wales is a different place to work and everyone knows their rugby - supposedly.

"There are more coaches and selectors per head of population than anywhere else in the world.

"Whoever comes in will have to wear a heavy coat of armour on their back and make sure they don't let the knives stick in."

The Welsh Rugby Union advertised for a new coach immediately after Saturday's Six Nations defeat to France in Cardiff.

A five-man panel will scour the world for the best available coaches, and they hope to appoint their man next month.

The Wales players have openly said they want Johnson to get the job, but he is expected to take up an offer to work as assistant to Australia coach John Connolly.

Johnson, who has always maintained that family issues will determine his decision, will inform the WRU this week what he intends to do.

"I haven't spoken to anyone (at the WRU) about anything yet, it's only Sunday morning and last night was a long night," said Johnson.

"I will wait until I have sobered up and then deal with things in the right way. I have told the players the truth because I've never lied to them and I don't intend to start now."

Wales, decimated by injuries to key members of last season's Grand Slam squad, ended with just one victory over Scotland in the defence of their Six Nations title.

But Johnson, who has raised the skill levels of the squad beyond recognition in his four years with Wales, said a semi-final place at the World Cup in 18 months' time is a realistic goal.

"It was a difficult season for on-field issues and off-field issues," said Australian-born Johnson.

These players have stood above a lot of people and acted with integrity
Scott Johnson

"We were trying to replace people when we weren't ready to replace them. For example, we were looking round and tossing coins for the number 12 position.

"But overall we managed to get some kids in the Test mix. It wasn't successful on the scoreboard, but it was an important step in the evolution of this rugby nation.

"There isn't a team in the rugby world where all the players are comfortable on the ball like ours.

"These players have stood above a lot of people and acted with integrity.

"They haven't said a derogatory word about anyone and just got on with playing their rugby."


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