Wigan boss Shaun Wane is to leave rugby league for a position as the high-performance coach with the Scottish Rugby Union, it was announced Monday.
Wane has guided Wigan to two Super League titles but will cross codes when his Warriors contract expires at the end of the English rugby league season.
Wane announced in May that he would be leaving rugby league giants Wigan after seven years in charge and seeking “a new challenge and direction”.
On Monday he said he would be joining Scottish Rugby on a consultancy basis.
Scotland have undergone a rugby resurgence under head coach Gregor Townsend, beating England in this season’s Six Nations and on Sunday rounding off their post-season tour by thrashing Argentina 44-15 in Resistencia — although their trip to the Americas also featured a shock 30-29 loss to the United States.
“I see this as a fantastic opportunity to not only impart what I have learnt over my career in rugby league as a player and coach, but also to learn myself from union and look to support the excellent work already being done in Scotland,” said Wane in a Scottish Rugby statement.
Wane, 53, led Wigan to two league titles, a Challenge Cup and a World Club Challenge victory.
He added: “The Scottish way of playing the game is fast, highly skilled and positive and that is something I want to contribute to, and help develop further.
“It is a fresh challenge for me, but the chance to work across all the teams and age-grades, with the BT Sport Academy players, both male and female, was an opportunity I am excited to take.”
Townsend welcomed Wane’s appointment by saying: “There is a lot we can learn from Shaun in both the technical side of the game as well as wider aspects of coaching.
“The range of skills now needed across the pitch in rugby union, aligned with the style of play we are developing means that all our players have to be able to pass accurately and deploy effective lines of running that will either hold defenders or find space.
“What Shaun brings from rugby league is immediately transferable and will add real value.”
© Agence France-Presse (Additional edits from Richard Barrett)