Gregor Townsend: Scotland’s longest-serving head coach ends speculation over his future
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has ended speculation over his future beyond the Rugby World Cup after signing a contract extension.
Townsend has been linked with moves to France and England but will remain in Scotland beyond the global tournament.
The 50-year-old’s deal was due to expire after the World Cup in France later this year, and there was speculation that the Scottish Rugby Union may be looking to replace him.
Scotland’s longest-serving head coach
The former fly-half is the longest-serving head coach of the national side in the professional era and will extend that record to at least 2026.
He began his term in 2017 when he replaced Vern Cotter and has led the side to new highs ever since, including a third-place finish in the Six Nations this year – their best finish since his first Six Nations in charge in 2018.
“Being head coach of Scotland is a tremendous honour, and I’m excited about the potential of the current squad of players and the game they can deliver against the best teams in the world,” Townsend said in a statement confirming his commitment to the role.
“As coaches, we have been very encouraged by the progress the team has made this season, and we believe there is much more to come from this group.
“I also feel the connection the team has with the country is special and that our supporters are backing the team like never before. The number of people who arrive two hours early to welcome the team off the bus on a home matchday demonstrates the love shown for this group of players and their belief that the squad can achieve something special.
“Our focus right now remains on Rugby World Cup preparations, but I am delighted to have secured my future for the next few years and look forward to continuing to do all I can to drive the team forward and inspire our supporters.”
Most successful head coach
Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said: “Gregor Townsend has been the most successful Scotland coach in the history of the professional era, and we believe he is the right man to lead the national team beyond this year’s Rugby World Cup.”
Scotland will take on Italy, France (twice) and Georgia prior to the Rugby World Cup later this year.
Townsend’s side have been drawn in Pool B, where they will face defending champions South Africa before tackling Tonga, Romania and finally Ireland.
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The article Gregor Townsend: Scotland’s longest-serving head coach ends speculation over his future appeared first on Planetrugby.com.