Townsend to replace Cotter as Scotland boss

Gregor Townsend (AFP)
Gregor Townsend (AFP)

London - Gregor Townsend will replace Vern Cotter as the head coach of the Scotland national side at the end of the 2016/17 season, the Scottish Rugby Union announced Wednesday.

New Zealander Cotter's contract expires in June 2017 and the SRU has now made public its intention to install Townsend, a former Scotland international, into the role when his current deal as head coach of the Glasgow Warriors ends at the same time.

"Gregor's abilities as a head coach are evident and he is increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after coaches in the game," said SRU chief executive Mark Dodson in a statement.

Townsend, 43, took charge of Glasgow -- one of Scotland's two professional teams along with Edinburgh -- in 2012 after three years as an assistant coach with the national side.

He has since taken Glasgow to the Celtic League play-offs in each of his four seasons in charge and led them to their first title in 2015 after they also topped the regular season table.

"I am incredibly proud to take on the Scotland head coach role at the end of the season," said Townsend.

"It is a real honour to be given the responsibility of coaching the national team and I look forward to working with such an impressive group of players," added Townsend, who won 82 Scotland caps and two for the British and Irish Lions in a playing career where he was best known as a fly-half.

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