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Dublin: 7 °C Wednesday 16 October, 2019
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Townsend and backroom team extend deals to coach Scotland until 2021

Ireland’s World Cup pool rivals will have their house in order.

Image: Bryan Keane/INPHO

JOB SECURITY OUGHT not be cause for distraction when Scotland’s coaches come head-to-head with Ireland at next year’s Rugby World Cup in Japan.

Head coach Gregor Townsend and his assistants Mike Blair (attack) and Matt Taylor (defence) have signed contract extensions until 2021, the SRU announced today.

Townsend took over the role from Vern Cotter in 2017 with a remit to take Scotland through to the 2019 World Cup. Thanks to victories over Australia, France, England and Argentina among his nine Test wins (from 14 matches) he has furthered his impressive track record.

With Dan McFarland soon to depart his role as forwards coach (in January at the latest) to take up the head coach position in Ulster, former Cardiff boss Danny Wilson was recently appointed to re-complete Townsend’s ticket.

Matt Taylor, Gregor Townsend, Dan McFarland and Gavin Vaughn take in the game (From left) Taylor, Townsend and McFarland watch Edinburgh in action last season with analyst Gavin Vaughan. Source: Craig Watson/INPHO

“It’s a privilege to coach such a hardworking group of quality players, which is continuing to grow in depth,” says Townsend before looking to the 13 Test schedule which will build up to the World Cup.

“It’s great that the immediate future of our coaching staff has also been secured, as Matt and Mike contribute massively to what we do as a group. We are really looking forward to Danny joining up with us, which will enable us to seek further improvements in how we can bring the best out of our players.”

Scotland face Wales, Fiji, South Africa and Argentina in the November Test window later this year before their Six Nations campaign kicks off against Italy a week before Ireland’s visit to Murrayfield.

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Sean Farrell

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