Gregor Townsend: Scotland coach and backroom staff extend deals

Gregor Townsend took charge of Scotland last year

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has extended his contract until 2021.

Assistant coach Matt Taylor has also signed a new three-year deal, while attack coach Mike Blair has agreed a new contract until 2020.

Townsend took over from Vern Cotter last year and has secured nine victories in 14 Test matches.

“It’s a privilege to coach such a hardworking group of quality players, which is continuing to grow in depth,” he said.

“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.”

Danny Wilson was appointed Scotland’s new forwards coach in June after Scottish Rugby agreed terms to release him from a deal to join Wasps.

“It’s great that the immediate future of our coaching staff has also been secured, as Matt and Mike contribute massively to what we do as a group,” Townsend, whose previous deal was until 2020, said.

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

Townsend had five years in charge of Glasgow Warriors, leading the Scotstoun side to the Pro12 title in 2015 before taking on the Scotland job.

His playing career took in spells at Northampton, Brive, Castres, Montpellier and Border Reivers. He represented Scotland 82 times, scoring 164 points, and won two British and Irish Lions caps.

Scotland face autumn Tests against Wales, Fiji, South Africa and Argentina later this year and open the 2019 Six Nations campaign against Italy in February.

Home and away summer Tests against France and Georgia precede the 2019 World Cup campaign, with Scotland drawn in the same group as Ireland, hosts Japan, Russia and Samoa.

“We’re well aware we’re entering a crucial and exciting time for this group as we continue to seek improvements across the board and target a strong autumn Test series and Six Nations before our build-up to the Rugby World Cup begins in earnest,” added Townsend.

“It’s an incredibly exciting time for the sport in Scotland.”

Analysis

BBC pundit and former Scotland Sevens captain Colin Gregor

“He’s proven that he’s an outstanding coach obviously with Glasgow Warriors before leading Scotland. The exciting brand of rugby that Scotland play really engages the crowd; the fans, they really buy into it. And for Gregor he’s got a really strong group of players that will only get better over the next couple of years – Stuart Hogg, Finn Russell, Jonny Gray, Stuart McInally. And over the summer we saw some of the younger guys coming through that will only strengthen that squad.”