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Gregor Townsend hails 'special day' for Glasgow Warriors and Scottish rugby

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend reckons Scottish rugby is on the verge of something special.

The Scotstoun boss watched with pride on Saturday night as his side made history by qualifying for the European Champions Cup quarter-finals for the first time.

They dished out a seven-try beating to English big-guns Leicester to book their slot in the last eight, following the lead of Edinburgh who progressed to the knock-out phase of the Challenge Cup on Friday.

Now Townsend - who will quit Warriors at the end of the season to take over as Scotland coach - believes the game north of the border is witnessing a fresh dawn of hope.

Speaking to glasgowwarriors.org, he said: "This is a special day for all of us, for our club and Scottish rugby.

"It's been a great weekend for the game here, with Edinburgh getting a big crowd last night and progressing to the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

"There is a lot to build on but there is a lot of optimism that professional rugby in Scotland can be a success."

Glasgow knew a win of any kind would see them qualify from Pool 1 as one of the three best runners-up.

But no one could have expected the scintillating display they put on as they swept Aaron Mauger's men aside with a 43-0 thrashing.

Townsend added: "The players had trained really well, they were really focused and knew this was an opportunity they had talked about all season and they had worked really hard for and they were going to go out there and grab it.

"We were ambitious, we were detailed in what we had to do in defence and attack and we were accurate, which is probably the clear reason we got the tries.

"We were so accurate in what we did and Leicester were really physical in the first 20 minutes.

"We had to put huge effort in just to win the ball at the ruck, so it was a huge effort to get the first try with over 20 phases.

"I'm so proud.

"It is more than just the 15 players who started, they did an excellent job, but you have the players on the bench, the players who weren't involved who have made our training sessions real quality this week as they were running Leicester's attack and defence, the coaching and support staff.

"It's days like this that you realise the hard work they put in is of a real quality."

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