A CHANCE meeting and a casual conversation seem to have been behind the confirmation that Danny Wilson, the former head coach at Cardiff Blues, is to leave Wasps and become Scotland's new forwards coach.

Wilson had signed a contract to join Dai Young, also a former Cardiff head coach, at the English Premiership club but when he learned that he would have been Gregor Townsend's prime target for the Scotland role if he had been available, he leapt at the chance and Young supported him in his ambition to coach at the higher level.

"This has obviously been a little unexpected and happened very quickly, so I’d like to thank Dai Young and Wasps for their consideration and understanding of this situation," Wilson said as Townsend confirmed he had got his man.

"To coach international rugby and go to a Rugby World Cup is obviously the pinnacle of the sport and the goal of most professional coaches. It was therefore a huge honour to be identified by Scotland and offered this role."

It seems the whole change of heart was sparked by Townsend commenting on the unfortunate timing that saw Wilson on the move and under contract just as the Scotland post unexpectedly became vacant.

When Wilson told Young about the conversation, the Wasps director of rugby said he would not stand in his way if he wanted to accept the international challenge and things have moved rapidly since then.

His appointment leaves the position of Dan McFarland, the man he will be replacing, up in the air. McFarland is due to take over as head coach at Ulster but is currently tied to a nine-month notice period that does not expire until January.

It has been widely expected that Ulster would try to buy out the last six months of his contract so he can start work in time for next season and Wilson taking the job – he is due to start in August – would clear the way for that to happen.

Townsend has known Wilson for a number of years when they both coached in the Guinness PRO14 and rates the former hooker highly. He started with the Dragons, laid the foundations for the transformation of the Scarlets pack and most recently has taken Cardiff to automatic qualification for the Heineken Champions Cup while winning the European Challenge Cup.

"Danny has a lot of technical knowledge around the scrum, the lineout and the contact area, which is primarily the role he’ll perform in our coaching set-up," Townsend explained.

"He also brings much more to our group through his experience as a head coach at senior club level and U20 level, helping teams and individuals reach their potential.

“We’re coming into a period where we’ll have more time with the players, particularly in the build-up to Rugby World Cup 2019, and I believe he’ll have a really positive impact on an already really good group of forwards and continue to make that a strength for Scotland.

“He’s someone I’ve got to know over the past few years and I am looking forward to seeing him working with our coaches and leading players.”