WITH just over a month until the start of the Six Nations, there are changes afoot in the Scotland backroom team.

It has been announced that Scotland assistant coach Matt Taylor will join the Australian national team with immediate effect, with Steve Tandy and Pieter de Villiers coming in to join the Scotland coaching staff.

Taylor has been part of the Scotland set-up since 2012 when he served a duel role with both the national team and Glasgow Warriors but will go down under to be a part of Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie’s backroom team with the Wallabies, with Rennie taking up his post at the end of the current Pro14 season.

Taylor may be beating Rennie to it in arriving in Australia, but Rennie was an integral part of the decision which has seen him join the backroom team and the New Zealander admits he is delighted with Taylor’s move.

“I was heavily involved in that decision obviously,” said Rennie.

“I'm rapt. He is a good man and a bloody good coach. He's very experienced and Australian, which is even better. He will add a lot so it is a great signing from our perspective.”

Rennie has regular contact with the Australian set-up but his role with Warriors, as well as the time difference between the UK and Australia, means that only so much can be done.

Rennie will have a short visit down under early next year but he will be relying on Taylor to feed-back information and do much of the groundwork ahead of his arrival.

“I’m going there during that small break at the start of the Six Nations which will give me a chance to meet key people and get around the rugby sides," he said.

But between Matt and Scott Wisemantel (the former England assistant coach who has recently joined the Australian coaching team), they will spend a fair bit time looking at all the teams and fostering relationships and so on. So, obviously, getting Matt into that role as quick as possible was important.”

Scotland will not be left short though, with the arrival of Tandy and de Villiers ahead of the Six Nations.

Tandy was Ospreys Head Coach for six seasons between 2012 and 2018 and joins from Super Rugby side Waratahs.

And de Villiers, who will be scrum coach, is a former France prop who moved into coaching after his retirement through injury in 2008 and joined South Africa as scrum coach in 2012, before switching to Stade Francais in 2018.