Gregor Townsend turned down lead coaching role at Rugby Lions

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend said the timing was not right when he was offered the chance to join the British and Irish Lions coaching staff for their New Zealand tour next year. Instead, he will be replacing Vern Cotter and oversee Scotland’s summer tour in Australia. He said he was flattered to be asked but his priority at the moment is Glasgow and then the Scotland tour, which will be his top priority at the end of this season.

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Learning from different coaches

He said that you do not get much contact with the players at an international level but on a tour, you have more chance to work with them and prepare them. He hopes that some of his top players at Glasgow will get the chance to tour with the Lions as he feels it will be fantastic for Scottish rugby, as well as giving them the chance to learn from different coaches and players.

However, his decision has been questioned by some people who feel that Townsend himself could have learned from the opportunity. Head coach of the British and Irish Lions, Warren Gatland, said the experience would have helped Townsend’s development. He feels it will be his loss, and ultimately Scotland’s loss too –

Techniques to improve players

Obviously, it is not a decision to be taken lightly as both are very responsible roles. Sometimes coaches need reminding that they can also continue developing while training their teams. They need to be good team leaders and role models who can get the best out of players by creating the right atmosphere during games and in training. Rugby drills and training should not be a chore but should be something to look forward to. As well as practising different drills, such as tackling or passing, the team could also watch a rugby drill video, such as those provided by, to talk about how they will work through the drills before putting them into practice.

Coaches also need to get the balance right between organising the team in a bid to win, and developing individuals. Younger players can be taught the basics such as catching, passing and tackling at their own pace if they use videos because they can see best practice and then try it for themselves individually or in pairs.

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