Rugby - Strokosch hails Johnson impact

Scotland flanker Alasdair Strokosch insists interim coach Scott Johnson will have the players' backing if he decided to take the job permanently.

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Rugby - Strokosch hails Johnson impact
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Alasdair Strokosch, pictured, wants Scott Johnson to become the full-time Scotland coach

The Perpignan forward has been hugely impressed by the job performed by the Australian since he stepped up from the assistant coach's post to fill the void left by Andy Robinson after his resignation last November. Johnson, though, has already this week refused to confirm whether he intends to make his interim role a full-time fixture.

The 50-year-old says he will wait until after Saturday night's meeting with France in Paris before weighing up whether to stay on in Scotland, but Strokosch said: "Scott has brought a lot of energy to the job. He's a different type of character and he's always got something to say, funny or otherwise. He's got a great rugby brain and it would be great to see him here on a permanent basis."

He added: "He's honest as well. He will tell you if you are playing badly or if you are playing well and what he wants out of you, and that's good too. The guys have responded to him."

Strokosch returns to the Scotland pack just six weeks after damaging his eye socket in the opening game of this year's competition against England.

But Saturday's match offers him a chance to cast off the frustrations of missing out on three games - including the wins over Italy and Ireland - and the prospect of perhaps becoming a member of the first Scottish team to win on French soil since the last millennium.

A third win would also be a remarkable triumph for a side which finished with none 12 months ago as they trudged off with the wooden spoon.

He said: "I only played 10 minutes against England, so I've got a fair bit to catch up on. It's been a frustrating Six Nations for me. It always is when you get injured and you have to sit on the sidelines and watch.

"I'm not great watching on as a patient but luckily we've just had a baby during the Six Nations so he has been keeping me busy.

"So I'm pleased to be back for this weekend. We have made a step forward with what we have accomplished results-wise, but to get another win would be a big step."

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