As SRU officials yesterday declared that a new Scotland head coach has been appointed but cannot be named, all indications pointed towards either Ewen McKenzie, the Queensland Reds head coach, or Wayne Smith, the former All Blacks supremo.

While introducing Scott Johnson in his new role as SRU director of rugby and Jonathan Humphreys, the Scotland team's forwards coach, at their first public outing since being appointed to those posts last week, Mark Dodson, Murrayfield's chief executive, revealed that another major announcement was imminent.

"I am delighted to say we have also concluded our search for a head coach and will be announcing that appointment in the next few weeks," he said.

Dodson, who has made repeated references to undertaking a worldwide search for the right man, said he could not identify the successful candidate and would not even say why. However it seems clear that he feels unable to do so because the individual concerned remains employed elsewhere.

Taking into account Johnson's antipodean background and the confidence being expressed that the Scottish rugby community will be impressed when the announcement is made, that strongly suggests recruitment from the on-going Super Rugby competition.

While Todd Blackadder, the Canterbury Crusaders head coach, would fit the bill having been hugely popular when with Edinburgh a decade or so ago, the timing seems to fit better for McKenzie or Smith.

McKenzie, a 1991 World Cup- winning Wallaby prop who coached the New South Wales Waratahs to the then Super 14 final in 2008, worked closely with Matt Taylor, the Australian-born Scotland A internationalist who returned to this country last year to be defence coach to both the national team and Glasgow Warriors. McKenzie, who shocked Australian rugby in March by indicating that this would be his last season with the Reds, has made clear his eagerness to coach at Test level clear and is believed to have narrowly missed out in his bid to get the Ireland job to which New Zealander Joe Schmidt was promoted from Leinster last week.

Smith, the All Blacks' head coach when Scotland toured there in 2000 and their assistant coach when they won the World Cup two years ago, meanwhile made much of his Caledonian roots when in this country to offer coaching tutorials earlier this year. He is currently working with Waikato Chiefs. Either way. the SRU's refusal to name their man leaves open the probability that a major decision pertaining to the running of Scottish rugby will once again emerge from outside the country since yesterday's comments will doubtless heighten speculation within Southern Hemisphere rugby and media circles.

Dodson, meanwhile, said the importance of getting the right man goes beyond the sport of rugby. "It is also one of the key decisions in Scottish sport because this is one sport where we can be globally competitive," he asserted.

He defended the decision to appoint Johnson without advertising the post of director of rugby – in abeyance since 2005 – on the basis that it would have been impossible to find a better candidate.

"We know who all the best people in the world are, it is not the most extensive list you have ever seen because we wanted the very best and it became clear when we had our discussions that Scott would fit the bill to be our director of rugby perfectly. That is why we did not advertise the post."

Admitting to a long-term "disconnect between Murrayfield and what happens out in the domestic game" Dodson promised that Johnson would oversee a new structure which will put in place an academy process working with clubs, schools and coaches around the country.

"We are going to bridge that gap between the perception that we are concentrating too much on the elite game and not enough on the the Scottish game and what makes that special," he maintained.