Gregor Townsend signs two-year Scotland deal extension through to 2023 World Cup

Gregor Townsend has signed up to lead Scotland into the 2023 World Cup after agreeing a two-year contract extension.

Townsend began the head coach role in May 2017 and signed a new three-year deal in July 2018.

The latest deal should see the 47-year-old become the longest-serving Scotland boss in the professional era

The former Glasgow head coach has secured 22 victories and one draw in his 40 Tests.

Scotland’s Stuart Hogg scores his side’s third penalty to win the Guinness Six Nations match at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli
Scotland’s Stuart Hogg scores his side’s third penalty to win the Guinness Six Nations match at Parc y Scarlets, Llanelli

Townsend failed to guide Scotland into the knockout stages of last year’s World Cup but led them to five consecutive victories in 2020 – against France, Italy twice, Georgia and Wales in Llanelli.

Townsend said in a statement: “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.

“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.”

Mark Dodson says Townsend has 'refocussed'
Mark Dodson says Townsend has 'refocussed'

Scottish Rugby Union 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.

“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.”