Scott Johnson could be appointed Scotland interim head coach before the end of this week, Press Association Sport understands.
The Australian is in line to take caretaker charge of the Scotland team, which has been without a head coach since Andy Robinson's resignation on November 25.
Johnson is poised to be in charge for the start of the RBS 6 Nations, which for Scotland begins on February 2 at Twickenham against England.Robinson quit following the humiliating 21-15 loss to Tonga, Scotland's 10th defeat in 13 Tests, and had a record of two wins from 15 matches in Six Nations competition. Scotland are currently 12th in the International Rugby Board world rankings.
Johnson will be tasked with reviving fortunes, beginning with the Calcutta Cup clash against an England side led by Stuart Lancaster.
Lancaster was so impressive as England interim head coach during last year's Six Nations he was appointed on a permanent basis following four wins from five matches.
The timing of Robinson's departure, although swift, coming the morning after the pitiful Pittodrie display, left little time to search for a successor.
Now former Wales caretaker Johnson, who began his role as senior assistant coach to Robinson after last year's Six Nations, has the chance to stake his claim for the top job.
The Scottish Rugby Union, led by chief executive Mark Dodson, began a global search for Robinson's successor in the week after his departure.
It was believed the 2015 World Cup draw would help the recruitment drive, with third seeds Scotland up against South Africa and Samoa in what was considered a favourable draw.Former United States Eagles and Ospreys head coach Johnson was Scotland's representative at the World Cup draw on December 3, when Dodson first suggested an interim appointment would be made.
"Given the timescales involved, we are looking at the possibility of an interim appointment as we don't want to rush into making the decision," said Dodson, while also revealing a number of applications had been received.