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Townsend finalising plans

Scots prepare for testing summer tour

Zander Fagerson
Zander Fagerson (photo: SNS Group)

It is highly unlikely the old adage: ‘by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail’ will ever apply to new Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend.

The Borderer has taken over the national reins from Kiwi Vern Cotter and is currently finalising preparations for the forthcoming summer tour which will see the Scots take on Italy in Singapore before heading to Sydney for a Test match against Australia with the trip culminating in a clash with hosts Fiji in Suva.

Having been in charge of Glasgow Warriors for the past five years, the former internationalist is well known to a number of the travelling party from his time at the helm of the Guinness PRO12 side.

Key to his approach will be his painstaking attention to detail, according to Scotstoun prop Zander Fagerson.

“He is very meticulous in what he does. He goes into things in minute detail,” said the 21-year-old.

“Everyone is learning. There are a lot of notes and a lot of learning so it has been tough.

“Gregor is more detailed now, recapping a lot of things and bringing a lot of things forward from Glasgow. There are a lot of new things as well so it is a blank slate for everyone.

“Gregor likes to see you do your own work, reviewing your game clips instead of him coming to you. Vern would call you out if he saw something wrong but I just think there is more attention to detail with Gregor.

“They’ll both call you out if you do something wrong. One will put the fear of God into you, the other one it’s: ‘OK, I’ll do it next time’.

“They are two fantastic coaches with different ways of coaching. They both get their point across the same and you either buy into it or you don’t.”

With Townsend having brought defence coach Matt Taylor, forwards specialist Dan McFarland and skills coach Mike Blair to Murrayfield from Glasgow, there is a familiar feel to things for Fagerson as he attempts to add to his haul of caps in the southern hemisphere.

“It’s been good to be back with the boys and the coaching staff and I’m really enjoying it,” said the prop.

“Everyone kind of knows everyone so the atmosphere has been quite relaxed.

“The tour is taking us out of our comfort zone, which is good. It’s not like we’re having three home games.

“These tours are good for players and coaches and it gives us the chance to get used to everything.”

Townsend’s debut as head coach is against the Italians in Kailang on Saturday 10 June, with the Aussies next up seven days later in Sydney’s Allianz Stadium before the curtain comes down on the tour in the ANZ Stadium on Saturday, 24 June.

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