Scott Johnson's mind games so 'boring' says Ian Evans
SCOTT Johnson has a fondness for those mind games but Wales lock Ian Evans has revealed he finds his former boss’ penchant for psychological warfare “boring”.
The flamboyant Australian is a well known figure in Wales from his time as an assistant to national coaches Graham Henry, Steve Hansen and Mike Ruddock.
Following the latter’s controversial resignation in 2006, not long after delivering Wales’ first Grand Slam in 27 years, Johnson took over as caretaker for three games.
After spells with the Wallabies and the USA, he was back in Wales between 2009 and 2012 as Ospreys director of coaching where he and Evans crossed paths.
With his resemblance to French acting legend Gérard Depardieu, slow drawl, fondness for a quip and impish sense of humour (remember his two poxy islands dig at New Zealanders?), Johnson is one of the modern game’s most colourful characters.
It is small wonder the interim Scotland head coach is back in the headlines already ahead of his side’s clash with Wales at Murrayfield a week on Saturday.
On being asked about coming up against him, Wales lock Evans didn’t even attempt to hide his feelings.
“He’s quite a character really,” he said. “He likes to put himself out in the press… trying to play mind games “His worst fear is probably that he has coached most of the boys within the (Wales) squad so he more or less knows our mindset.
“He can ramble as much as he wants, but it just becomes pretty boring in the end.”
Speaking to journalists yesterday Evans still wasn’t finished, adding: “You guys interviewed him every day.
“I don’t know, I don’t really understand why he has to put stuff out there, just to stir it up.
“Rugby’s a pretty easy game, isn’t it? You don’t need to add fuel to the fire.”
But the 28-year-old second row admitted he admired Johnson’s abilities as a coach, Scotland enjoying something of renaissance of late, beating Italy and Ireland in their last two Six Nations clashes.
“I’m not surprised with his success with Scotland to be fair,” Evans said.
“He has been around international rugby, with the Australia, Wales and now Scotland.
“He is a very experienced coach and he knows what he is doing. You’ve got to respect that.”
Is Evans, who has triumphed in every Six Nations away game he has played in with a played five, won five return, expecting more mind games to come ahead of Wales’ trip to Edinburgh?
“Yeah, there’s no doubt but, like I said, it’s boring – for me anyway,” he said.