Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend

Gregor Townsend signs new Scotland deal to 2023 Rugby World Cup

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has signed a two-year extension that will carry his commitments through to the end of the 2023 Rugby World Cup in France.

Scottish Rugby have kept the faith in Townsend after he failed to take the Scots past the group stage at the World Cup in Japan a little more than a year ago.

It was the lowest point in Townsend’s tenure that has witnessed the highs of beating the Wallabies for the first time in Australia in 2017, as well as sending England to defeat in the Six Nations a year later.

In recent months Townsend has held clear-the-air talks with star fly-half Finn Russell after the two were involved in a dressing room argument at half-time in the World Cup defeat to Japan.

Russell’s subsequent jettison from the Scotland camp on the eve of this year’s Six Nations for breaking team protocols had left serious questions about Scotland’s plans for the next World Cup.

But back on amicable terms with Russell, Townsend has now earned the trust of the board at Murrayfield to plot Scottish success in three years’ time.

“I am honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to continue in my role as Scotland head coach,” said Townsend.

“I will be doing all I can, alongside an outstanding support staff, to improve the team as we build towards Rugby World Cup 2023 in France.

“Over the past year I believe we have made progress on and off the field which give real grounds for optimism around what this team can achieve.

“I know how much our supporters want the team to do well and the backing for the team has been fantastic, especially during the difficulties of the past year with Covid, knowing how much of a lift the country gets when the national team is successful.

“We have a very talented and hard-working group of players, with growing depth in a number of positions.

“We will be putting all our efforts into unlocking that potential and helping our players deliver their best performances when they come together for our future campaigns.”

The recent Autumn Nations Cup saw Scotland finish fourth after losing a play-off against Ireland 31-16 at the Aviva Stadium.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson added: “I am really pleased we can continue to have Gregor lead the Scotland team over the next couple of years and into the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

“International rugby has never been such a competitive arena and Scottish Rugby is determined to keep pace with other nations and having a talented and respected coach like Gregor on board is an important factor in helping us achieve that.”

Scotland open their account for the Six Nations in February when they face England at Twickenham, two years after their dramatic 36-36 draw in 2019.

Leave a Comment