The Scot is part of the 2021 British & Irish Lions coaching staff
Who is Gregor Townsend: Ten things you should know about the Lions assistant coach
Gregor Townsend won 84 caps for Scotland as a player and has been head coach since 2017.
Here are some more facts about the coach.
Ten things you should know about Gregor Townsend
1. Gregor Townsend was born on 26 April 1973 in Galashiels, Scotland.
2. During his playing career, he played for an array of clubs – Northampton Saints, Brive, Castres, Border Reivers and Montpellier. He was versatile in position, too, as he could play full-back, centre and fly-half. Townsend retired from club rugby in 2007.
3. Townsend won his first cap for Scotland against England in 1993 and he went on to accumulate 84 caps in total.
During the 1999 Five Nations, he scored a try against every team, becoming the first Scotsman to do so since 1925. His efforts helped Scotland win the tournament that year. He retired from international rugby in 2003.
4. He was selected to be a part of the 1997 British & Irish Lions squad by Sir Ian McGeechan. He played in two Tests on the tour to South Africa as the Lions won the series 2-1.
5. Townsend was awarded an MBE for his services to rugby in 1999.
6. He first coaching role was at Border Reivers, as a player-coach, from 2005-07. He then became the assistant coach for Scotland A in 2008 and the following year he became attack coach for the senior side.
In 2012 he was named head coach of Glasgow Warriors and stayed in the role until 2017, when he took over from Vern Cotter as Scotland head coach.
He was in charge during the 2021 Six Nations, when Scotland beat France in Paris for the first time in 22 years and England at Twickenham for the first time since 1983.
7. He was named as part of the British & Irish Lions 2021 coaching staff for the tour to South Africa.
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.”
8. Townsend is married to wife Claire and the couple have a son, Christian, together.
9. Townsend isn’t the only rugby star in his family as his brother Craig was a player and his son Christian has played for Scotland U20.
10. He has shared his struggles with mental health and has said he is hoping the environment in rugby is getting better for players.
He told The Lockdown Tactics: “We have to look and find out if players are struggling. A lot of people who do struggle try to hide it from others. Ultimately, we want our players to play at their best level physically. We want them to be confident and free of anxiety and worries about making a mistake.”
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