Scots' boost

Townsend ‘humbled’ by Lions coaching role

Role: Gregor Townsend (pic: SNS Group)

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend and assistant coach (defence) Steve Tandy have been named in Warren Gatland’s coaching group for the 2021 British & Irish Lions tour to South Africa.

Townsend took up his current Scotland role in 2017, from which time he has guided Scotland to a number of notable wins, including away victories against Wales and Australia, as well as a first Calcutta Cup success against England at Twickenham in 38 years and first Scottish win in Paris since 1999 during this year’s Guinness Six Nations.

The Scotland head coach, who has been named as attack coach, won 82 caps for Scotland and represented the famous red Lions jersey in 1997, playing stand-off in the first two Tests in Cape Town and Durban as the squad, under Ian McGeechan and Jim Telfer, pulled off an iconic 2-1 series victory over the then world champions.

Townsend made six appearances during that successful 1997 Tour of South Africa, scoring two tries against the Sharks and Northern Transvaal and he said: “To be involved as a player and now as a coach is truly humbling.

“The Springboks are a formidable opponent on home turf, but looking at the talent in England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales, it is a hugely exciting opportunity for us to do something special.

“One of the great challenges of a Lions Tour is to bring together players from four different countries, in a short space of time, and create an attacking threat that will cause the opposition problems. It’s something I am already looking forward to.”

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