Gregor Townsend: Scotland head coach admits it could be his last Six Nations in charge, responds to France and Leicester Tigers rumours

Gregor Townsend Credit: Alamy
Gregor Townsend Credit: Alamy

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has admitted this could be his last Six Nations in charge of the national team as his contract runs down in the job.

Townsend has revealed that he has yet to hold talks about extending his current deal beyond the end of this year, with speculation rife about his future.

Some reports have suggested that Townsend had applied for an assistant coach job with France, who are poised to host the World Cup later this year.

Could be last Six Nations in charge

Townsend unveiled his squad for the Six Nations on Tuesday and couldn’t hide from the fact this may be his last Championship in charge of his country.

“Yes, absolutely. I’m not contracted beyond this year so of course (it could be the last),” he said, with Scotland starting the Six Nations away to England.

“I don’t think it will change anything though because the Six Nations is such a big tournament and there’s so much work that goes in for me and the other coaches.”

When quizzed if he would like to sort his future out before the Rugby World Cup, he added. “Yes, of course. But we’ll just have to wait and see. No discussions have been had and I don’t see them taking place until after the Six Nations.”

That aforementioned report regarding a job with France was followed by a link to Premiership champions Leicester Tigers, who are needing a head coach.

“I did get a contact from France, but it was just an initial enquiry and there was nothing further from that because we obviously play France in the Six Nations so I didn’t want to talk any further with them about that,” he said about the rumours.

“Nothing about Leicester. I read that with some surprise. Most of the things I’ve read are speculation.”

Players’ minds will be on the job

Despite the uncertainty surrounding his future after 2023, Townsend refuted claims that it could have a detrimental effect on Scotland in the coming months.

“No, I think it will be the last thing on the players’ minds,” he said.

“We have a really important year of rugby for the national team. The Six Nations is a massive part of that, the World Cup is obviously huge.

“So much work has to go in for these five games that nothing else really comes into anybody’s thoughts. It is such an intense period for us and we have to be on it for that seven weeks to bring the best out of our team, and our players know that as well.”

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