Gregor Townsend will continue at the helm of the Scotland team until 2023, after signing a two-year extension to his contract this week.
The former scrum-half took over the reins in 2017 and will become his country’s longest serving head coach of the professional era by the time the deal ends after the next World Cup.
Townsend has led his side in three Guinness Six Nations in that time, with seven victories from the 15 matches played, including 2018’s third-placed finish where they won three of their five games, including the Calcutta Cup.
Scotland finished this year’s Championship in fourth place, but boasted the best defence out of the six sides with just 59 points conceded, and the boss is looking forward to building on that momentum in the years to come.
“I am honoured and privileged to have been given the opportunity to continue in my role as Scotland head coach,” Townsend said.
“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.
“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 when they come together for our future campaigns.”
Scotland built on a solid 2020 Guinness Six Nations display with a promising performance at the Autumn Nations Cup, where they eventually finished fourth after defeat to Ireland on the final weekend.
With a number of new faces involved in recent squads, Townsend has developed a side worthy of challenging at the top end of the table when the 2021 Guinness Six Nations gets underway next February.
Scotland will get their campaign underway with a trip to Twickenham to face reigning champions England in their own back yard, in what will be a stern test of their credentials.
But Townsend may well be boosted by the return of influential fly-half Adam Hastings for the curtain-raiser in London, after some positive news following surgery on a shoulder injury.
Both Hastings and fellow No.10 Finn Russell suffered injuries inScotland’s final match of the 2020 Championship against Wales in October.
But, despite an initial prognosis of four months on the sidelines, Warriors head coach Danny Wilson believes the No.10 will be back sooner than first thought.
“I think the Six Nations is still a possibility for Adam. He’s in the middle of his rehab at the moment and is spending his days with the physios,” Wilson said.
“He’s working hard but he’s got a fair way to go as it’s a fairly-substantial injury.”