Glasgow Warriors have freed outgoing head coach Dave Rennie from the final month of his contract and ex-Scotland assistant Danny Wilson will take over from Monday.
The transition from New Zealander Rennie to Wilson, also the former head coach of Cardiff Blues, has been brought forward with the agreement of all parties to allow both coaches extra time to bed into their new roles and to prepare for when rugby returns.
Rennie, who spent three years at Scotstoun, is to be the new head coach of the Australian national team.
Glasgow Warriors Managing Director Nathan Bombrys said the changed circumstances to the season because of the coronavirus shutdown meant it was right to start the new arrangements a month early.
“The original plan was for Danny to come in after the Guinness Six Nations and shadow Dave and his coaching team for the rest of this campaign,” said Bombrys. “We appreciate Dave’s willingness to be open and supportive, as this would have given Danny an excellent head start on next season.
“However, given that the 2019/20 season remains suspended for the foreseeable future, we felt that the best thing for the club would be to let Danny get started.
“With sport in Australia planning to return soon, making the change now will also allow Dave to begin his new role as head coach of the Australian national team.
“We are grateful to Dave for everything he has done for our club over the past three seasons, and particularly for how he has been supportive of the current situation, as well as his willingness to share his vast coaching knowledge with all of our coaches.
“When Dave and his wife Stephanie are able to safely make the journey home, they will leave with the best wishes of everyone at Glasgow Warriors.”
It means that if there is a finish to the 2019-20 season, Wilson will have the reins.
“Danny has already been hard at work planning the squad and preparing for the new season, under highly unusual circumstances, and we are all looking forward to working with him over the coming seasons,” added Bombrys.
Wilson said: “My sincere thanks goes to Dave for providing me with an extensive handover that has allowed for this early transition.
“Dave, his staff and players have done a great job, leading the squad to the 2018/19 Guinness PRO14 final, and leaves a solid platform to develop this squad from for the future.
“We’re now looking forward to getting back to rugby and starting training as soon as is safe to do so.”
Rennie said he had been impressed with his successor in the short time they’d worked together.
“The original plan was for Danny to immerse himself in the club after the Guinness Six Nations to assist with the transition but that obviously hasn’t been possible,” he said.
“He has used the past couple of months well, spoken a lot to staff and players and is in a position to put his stamp on things. I know he’ll do a great job and he’s highly regarded by our Scottish internationals.”