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Townsend adds two big names to Scotland backroom ahead of Six Nations

Steve Tandy and Pieter de Villiers join Scottish coaching ticket as Matt Taylor returns to Australia.

Tandy: Townsend's new assistant coach at Scotland.
Tandy: Townsend's new assistant coach at Scotland.
Image: AAP/PA Images

SCOTLAND HEAD COACH Gregor Townsend has strengthened his coaching staff ahead of the 2020 Six Nations, adding Steve Tandy and Pieter de Villiers to his backroom team.

Former Ospreys head coach Tandy returns to northern hemisphere rugby following two seasons as defence coach with the Waratahs in Super Rugby.

Tandy takes up the role of assistant coach under Townsend while former France international prop de Villiers comes in as scrum coach.

De Villiers served as scrum coach for his native South Africa before linking up again with former Springboks head coach Heynecke Meyer in the Top 14 with Stade Francais.

De Villiers’ involvement will be “on a short-term contract capacity” for the Six Nations, Scotland said.

The appointments follow the news that Matt Taylor will return home to Australia to take up a new role as Wallabies defence coach under new boss Dave Rennie.

Taylor was defence coach for both the Glasgow Warriors and the Scottish national team before taking on the role of Townsend’s assistant coach on a full-time basis in 2017.

“It’s great to bring someone of Steve Tandy’s experience on board,” Townsend said.

“He was a successful head coach in the Pro14 and added another impressive dimension to his coaching as an assistant coach in Super Rugby, which is a rare move for a northern hemisphere coach.

“He’s passionate about learning and passionate about improving players. We’re looking forward to welcoming him into the wider coaching group. I know he’s keen to get started with this opportunity.”

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“We’re also pleased to welcome Pieter into the group. He’s passionate about the scrum and has top level Test experience, having played for many years at Stade Francais and the French national team.

“He’ll be focused on improving our scrum collectively and working closely on improving the individuals in our team.”

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Niall Kelly

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