Scotland coach Townsend signs new contract until 2023 World Cup

Gregor Townsend's new deal will keep him at Scotland until the 2023 World Cup. Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Scotland coach Gregor Townsend has signed a two-year contract extension that will keep him in charge until the 2023 World Cup, Scottish Rugby announced on Thursday, making him Scotland's longest-serving coach in the professional era.

Townsend, who won 82 caps for Scotland, took over as coach in June 2017 and has been in charge for 40 tests, winning 22 and drawing one.

Townsend's contract was set to run out in June, 2021 and the 47-year-old, who led Scotland to a best-ever fifth in the world rankings in 2017-18, said earlier this month that he had been in discussions over a renewal for weeks.

"Over the past year I believe we have made progress on and off the field which give real grounds for optimism around what this team can achieve," Townsend said in a statement.

"I know how much our supporters want the team to do well and the backing for the team has been fantastic, especially during the difficulties of the past year with COVID-19, knowing how much of a lift the country gets when the national team is successful.

"We have a very talented and hard-working group of players, with growing depth in a number of positions. We will be putting all our efforts into unlocking that potential and helping our players deliver their best performances."

Under Townsend, Scotland finished fourth in both the Six Nations Championship this year as well as the recently concluded Autumn Nations Cup. The 2023 World Cup will be held in France.