Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Scotland-bound Gregor Townsend hoping to sign off as Warriors coach on a high

Future Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend admits he is "incredibly proud" to be taking over his national team - but he first wants to achieve some unfinished business at Glasgow.

Townsend has been named as Vern Cotter's successor when the New Zealander's contract expires in June 2017, giving him a fifth season in charge of Warriors.

When asked how he is feeling, the 43-year-old told Warriors TV: " Incredibly proud, incredibly fortunate and grateful for the opportunity.

"I have had a great time as coach of Glasgow Warriors and I'm really grateful for the opportunity I had over four years ago to become the coach here.

"It will be a great honour but of course it's next season and we have got a lot of work to do this season."

Townsend reiterated his gratitude to the Scottish Rugby Union but had special thanks for his Warriors players, many of whom will remain under his charge on the international arena next summer and beyond.

And Townsend senses a determination among them to make sure his final season is a special one, after reigning champions Warriors lost in the Guinness Pro12 play-off semi-finals in May.

He added: "Also the people who have enabled me to get this job next season, who are the players first and foremost. They are the ones that play the games, that do the hard training, that win games.

"The support staff here, on and off the field, but especially the coaching staff, make my job so much easier and so I'm very grateful for everyone around the club.

"And also the supporters. They have been really supportive of the team. It's been brilliant coaching this team and seeing how well it connects with the supporters. We have had lots of special nights and days here at Scotstoun and I'm looking forward to a few more next season.

"Every year we want to be better and we want to push the players forward so they can reach their potential, but there's something building towards this season.

"I feel that we didn't do ourselves justice right at the end of last season. We now have our players from the beginning of the season. They are really determined. A lot of them were really emotional and down after that semi-final against Connacht and some of our players had only experienced finals.

"To get that determination and put it in our pre-season work and look at the areas we need to improve to win these big games this season, it's been a great process so far.

"We've got some ambitions we have not fulfilled yet, especially in Europe."


From Belfast Telegraph