Gregor Townsend signs new Scotland contract taking him to 2023 Rugby World Cup

Gregor Townsend has signed a new contract which will he see him take charge of Scotland at the 2023 Rugby World Cup.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has agreed a new deal.
Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has agreed a new deal.

The national coach has agreed to extend his current deal by another two years.

Townsend took on the Scotland role in 2017 and will become Scotland’s longest serving head coach of the professional era if he sees out the current agreement.

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The former Glasgow Warriors coach has been at the helm for 40 Tests, winning 22, losing 17 and drawing one.

The draw for the 2023 World Cup will take place in Paris on Monday, with Scotland in the third pot of seeds.

They failed to qualify from their group at the 2019 World Cup in Japan, losing to Ireland and the hosts. It is only the second time the Scots have failed to reach the quarter-finals.

Scotland are currently seventh in the world ranking, having reached a high point of fifth in the 2017-18 season.

Townsend’s backroom team was revamped after the World Cup and Scotland won three of five Six Nations matches, against France, Italy and Wales.

They also went on a five-match unbeaten run during 2020 before losing their final two matches of the year, against France and Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup.

Townsend’s other highlights in charge include impressive wins home and away against Australia and beating England in 2018 then retaining the Calcutta Cup the following season by drawing 38-38 at Twickenham after a stunning second-half comeback.

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

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“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.”

Scottish Rugby chief executive, Mark Dodson, said: “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.

“I’ve been impressed with how Gregor has refocussed his approach over the last 12 months following the disappointing results at the RWC 2019 and believe he the right man to continue an anticipated upward trajectory of this group of players and coaches.

“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.”

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