SCOTLAND head coach Gregor Townsend is to be offered a two-year contract extension, which will keep him in charge of the national team until 2025, it has been reported by The Times newspaper.
His current deal runs out after this Autumn’s World Cup, and Townsend has indicated that he is keen to remain in the role. When asked in the immediate aftermath of Scotland’s recent Six Nations campaign about whether he would like to stay on, he replied: “Yes, at this stage, but it’s not the time to be answering these questions when you’re just off a victory, the crowd are behind the team and you’re connected with the players.
“It’s a great feeling, but I don’t want to commit to anything just now. There’s conversations that have started and they’ll start up again after some time off. We’ll see how they develop.”
The length of Townsend’s new deal closely coincides with that of Scottish Rugby Chief Executive Mark Dodson, with whom he has been closely aligned since the Englishman joined the organisation back in 2011.
Dodson spoke earlier this week about having had conversations across the globe with potential candidates during the process of deciding whether to stick or twist with the national team head coach role, and The Times has now reported that Warren Gatland was one of the figures canvassed about the possibility of taking on the job.
The conversation between Gatland and Dodson is understood to have taken place at the start of 2023, before the New Zealander agreed to return to his role as head coach of Wales following the sacking of Wayne Pivac. There was persistent speculation at that time that Gatland would take over from Eddie Jones as the England head coach.
Fellow New Zealander Leon MacDonald, currently of Auckland Blues, was also sounded out about the Scotland role, however a generally positive Six Nations appears to have weighted the scales in Townsend’s favour.
The SRU declined to comment.