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Scotland: Head coach Gregor Townsend signs new deal to 2023

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Gregor Townsend will lead Scotland into a second World Cup after signing an extended deal
Gregor Townsend will lead Scotland into a second World Cup after signing an extended deal

Head coach Gregor Townsend is “honoured and privileged” to sign a two-year contract extension that will see him lead Scotland at the 2023 World Cup.

Having taken charge in 2017, Townsend’s six-year tenure will make him Scotland’s longest-serving head coach of the professional era.

The 82-cap former player has won 22 and drawn one of his 40 Tests at the helm.

Townsend, 47, says Scotland’s “progress on and off the field” in the past year gives him “real grounds for optimism”.

He added: “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.”

Having left his role as Glasgow Warriors head coach to take the Scotland job, Townsend steered the national team to their highest world ranking of fifth in his debut season.

Last year Scotland retained the Calcutta Cup for the first time since 1983 with a stunning comeback to draw with England at Twickenham, but months later crashed out of the World Cup at the pool stage for only the second time.

Townsend’s men had won five successive matches this year – the team’s best run since 2011 – before defeats to France and Ireland in the Autumn Nations Cup.

The draw for the 2023 World Cup takes place in Paris on Monday, with Scotland in pot three.

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said: “I’ve been impressed with how Gregor has refocused 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.”

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