Scotland coach Townsend hopes to sign new contract


FILE PHOTO: Rugby Union - Autumn Nations Cup - Scotland v France - BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh, Britain - November 22, 2020 Scotland coach Gregor Townsend wears a face mask before the match REUTERS/Russell Cheyne

(Reuters) - Scotland coach Gregor Townsend hopes to sign a new contract before the turn of the year, keeping him in charge through to the next World Cup in France.

“We’ve been in discussions for a few weeks now so I’m hopeful that something can be agreed and announced over the next few weeks,” Townsend told a news conference on Thursday about talks with Scottish Rugby.

“That would be great if it happens. I’ve enjoyed the role the whole time but the positives that I’ve seen with the playing group and the management makes me feel that we’ve got the ingredients and expertise and togetherness to go on and achieve things over the next years, so it would be nice to be a part of that.”

Townsend’s contract runs out in June and a new deal would keep him in charge through to the World Cup in 2023.

“That gives everyone a target to work together to that World Cup. It would be great if we do stick together until then.”

Last weekend Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson said a deal with the 47-year-old Townsend was in the offing.

“We’ve had so much on, so we just need to find the appropriate time to sit down and tidy these things up.

“We’re all grown-ups. We’ve all said we know where we want to be, let’s come back and nail this before Christmas. Hopefully, we’ll be in a position to give an update on that in the next few weeks,” he told reporters.

Townsend, who won 82 caps for Scotland, took over as coach in June 2017 and Saturday’s Autumn Nations Cup clash in Ireland will mark his 40th test in charge.

(Writing by Mark Gleeson in Cape Town; Editing by Toby Davis)

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