Scott Johnson appointed Rugby Australia's Director of Rugby

Cheika safe, new role for Johnson (0:45)

Rugby Australia chief Raelene Castle has announced Scott Johnson as new Director of Coaching, with Wallabies coach Michael Cheika reporting into Johnson. (0:45)

Scott Johnson has been appointed Director of Rugby to oversee coach Michael Cheika, as part of a restructure aimed at boosting the struggling Wallabies going into the 2019 World Cup.

Cheika will report to Johnson, who will return home in mid-March after a decade working in the USA and Europe, most recently as Scotland's Director of Coaching.

While Cheika has held on to his job after just four wins in 13 Tests this year, his powers have been curbed. Johnson will also be part of a new three-person Wallabies selection panel with Cheika and another person to be appointed early next year.

While there was no bloodletting and jobs lost on Monday, there are still no guarantees Cheika's assistants Stephen Larkham (attack) Nathan Grey (defence), and Simon Raiwalui (forwards) will all be retained.

"Michael's made some recommendations post his review and those recommendations will be discussed with Scott Johnson," Rugby Australia CEO Raelene Castle said.

Castle and RA chairman Cameron Clyne announced changes at a press conference in Sydney on Monday following a review after the Wallabies disappointing campaign.

The 56-year-old Johnson was Australia's attack coach at the 2007 World Cup under John Connolly but was released in a clear-out of the coaching staff after the Wallabies lost to England in the quarter-finals.

The changes to the Wallabies program comes as Rugby Australia and the four Australian Super Rugby organisations agreed to an aligned national high performance model.

"I am excited to be returning to Rugby Australia in the director of rugby role and I am looking forward to supporting Michael and the Wallabies in their build up to the World Cup," Johnson said.

"I am also looking forward to working with the Super Rugby teams to build an aligned model that will enable sustained success for Super Rugby teams, the Wallabies and ensure we maximise the opportunities for Australian Rugby."

Cheika hailed the move "great" for Australian rugby.

"And I know it will prove to be the best long-term structure for the game in this country," he said.

"I'm looking forward to working with Scott and finishing the work that I started by making Australians proud of our performance."

Clyne said RA were looking at building sustained success.

"Obviously winning a World Cup next year is really critical and we're obviously confident we can do that with the right program,"" Clyne said

"But what's clear today in sport is that that only buys you support for a short period of time.

"What you need is sustainable success. We want to win the World Cup, then we want to win the Bledisloe, then we want to win Rugby Championships."