Gregor Townsend turns down British & Irish Lions coaching role

Gregor Townsend turns down British & Irish Lions coaching role

  • Gregor Townsend turns down the opportunity to join the British and Irish Lions coaching staff
  • The Glasgow head coach will instead oversee Scotland’s summer tour
  • Townsend turned down the role due to ‘bad timing,’ 
Incoming Scotland chief Gregor Townsend has turned down an offer to join Warren Gatland’s coaching team for this summer’s British & Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

The current Glasgow Warriors head coach will replace Vern Cotter in the national hot seat at the end of the season, shortly before the Lions set off on a tour of New Zealand.

But with Scotland jetting off for a Test series against the Wallabies around the same time, Townsend declined an offer from Lions coach Warren Gatland to become an assistant.

“It’s a case of timing,” said the 43-year-old.

“I feel hugely privileged to be given the Scotland job and our first opportunity to work with the players is at the same time as the Lions tour.”

Lions head coach Warren Gatland will announce his assistant coaches next Wednesday, with England’s forwards coach Steve Borthwick and Ireland defence coach Andy Farrell expected to be named.

A British & Irish Lions spokesperson said: “Gregor was offered a role with the Lions but for his own reasons decided not to take that up.

“We wish him all the best when he leads Scotland to Australia next June. We are confident that we will have the best available coaching team to secure a Test series victory in New Zealand.”

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