Friday 17 August 2018

Townsend to remain as Scotland boss after agreeing deal until 2021

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has extended his contract until 2021. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has extended his contract until 2021. Photo: Andrew Milligan/PA

Jack de Menezes

Gregor Townsend has extended his contract to remain as Scotland head coach through to the end of the 2020/21 season.

The former Glasgow Warriors boss will remain with the Scottish Rugby Union beyond the World Cup next year, and he follows in the footsteps of England counterpart Eddie Jones in extending his current deal by an additional two years.

As well as Townsend, contract extensions have been agreed with assistant coaches Matt Taylor and Mike Blair, while the imminent arrival of former Cardiff Blues head coach Danny Wilson sees the long-term future of Scotland's coaching set-up secured.

"I have always been incredibly proud to coach Scotland and I'm delighted and grateful to be able to extend my involvement with the national team," Townsend said.

"It's a privilege to coach such a hard-working group of quality players, which is continuing to grow in depth.

"We are really looking forward to Danny (Wilson) joining up with us, which will enable us to seek further improvements in how we can bring the best out of our players."

Memorable

Townsend's time in charge of the national team has already seen a marked increase in the attacking rugby that the side utilise, having averaged four tries per Test since he took up the reins last summer and recorded memorable victories over Australia and England last season.

Scotland will now look to build on that momentum generated last season ahead of the November games against Wales, Fiji, South Africa and Argentina, next year's Six Nations and Japan 2019 where they will look to go further than the narrow quarter-final exit three years ago.

"There's certainly a lot of improvement to be found - both from us as coaches and also our playing performances - but we've also seen some excellent displays over the past season, as well as a genuine desire from the players to give their best for their country," Townsend added.

Meanwhile England front row Rochelle Clark has brought down the curtain on an international career spanning 15 years and four World Cups.

The loosehead prop will continue playing for Wasps next season but, after making 137 appearances for the Red Roses - a total that identifies her as the nation's most capped rugby player - has opted to end her time with England.

The 37-year-old made her international debut in 2003 and was awarded an MBE for services to rugby after being involved in the 2014 World Cup triumph. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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