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Glasgow assistants to join Gregor Townsend with Scotland

Published 27/10/2016

Matt Taylor will continue working with Scotland
Matt Taylor will continue working with Scotland

Gregor Townsend has confirmed he will continue to work with Glasgow assistants Matt Taylor and Dan McFarland when he takes over as Scotland head coach next season.

Australian-born former Edinburgh and Border Reivers flanker Taylor will extend his spell with the national team after combining defence coach roles with both the Warriors and Scotland for more than four seasons, while former Connacht, Richmond and Stade Francais player McFarland will join the national set-up.

The reorganisation will see current Scotland assistant coaches Jonathan Humphreys and Jason O'Halloran join incoming Glasgow head coach Dave Rennie at Scotstoun next term.

In a statement, Townsend said: "I have known Matt since our playing days and he has developed into an outstanding defence coach since hanging up his boots, winning Super Rugby with the Reds and the PRO12 while at Glasgow.

"He is always striving to improve and it's great that we'll continue to learn together over the next few years.

"Dan has done a fantastic job since arriving at Glasgow last season, and before that in Ireland. He is able to combine forensic detail from the technical side of the game with a love of learning and looking to bring out the best in his players.

"He has more than lived up to the reputation that preceded him and has developed very good relationships with the players at Glasgow."

Taylor is delighted to continue his partnership with Townsend.

"Gregor and I have known each other for a long time and have a really good understanding of each other's coaching principles and philosophies, having developed many of them together as players a number of years ago," the 44-year-old said.

"The thing that struck us as players - and one of the reasons we got on so well - was that we were both very keen on our coaching and would often discuss drills and activities as we became excited about the next step in our careers.

"The reality of those conversations is that we're now set to coach together for Scotland, which is very exciting."

McFarland joined Glasgow in the summer of 2015 after ending a nine-year coaching stint at Connacht.

"It's a great honour to be asked to coach a national side and all the more so because I know many of the players who represent Scotland through my work with Glasgow," he said.

Meanwhile, O'Halloran will be reunited with his mentor. The former All Black played under Rennie when they won the ITM Cup with Wellington in 2000 and was the future Warriors head coach's assistant at Manawatu Turbos for four years, as well as with New Zealand Under-20s when the pair led them to two Junior World Championship titles.

"It's fantastic to get the opportunity to work with Dave again, it's been five years since we worked together and he's done a great job at the Chiefs," O'Halloran said.

"We both enjoy the same brand of rugby that Gregor has instilled in the mentality at Scotstoun, so there's not going to be too much of a shift in the way the team plays."

Rennie added: "Jason and I have a lot of history. I have a huge amount of respect for him as a man and as a coach.

"Jonathan's experience and success is impressive. He's a great addition to our group."

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