July 31, 2018 / 1:41 PM / 17 days ago

Scotland extend head coach Townsend's deal up to 2021

(Reuters) - Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has signed a three-year contract extension with the national team that will keep him in the role until 2021, Scottish Rugby announced on Tuesday.

FILE PHOTO: Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend before match against Ireland in Dublin, Republic of Ireland - March 10, 2018. REUTERS/Clodagh Kilcoyne/File Photo

Townsend, 45, took charge in May last year and guided the team to historic home and away victories against Australia. Scotland also defeated England in this year’s Six Nations tournament where they finished third behind Wales and champions Ireland.

"I have always been incredibly proud to coach Scotland and I'm delighted and grateful to be able to extend my involvement with the national team," Townsend told Scottish Rugby's website here

Townsend’s staff including assistant coaches Matt Taylor and Mike Blair were also handed extensions.

“We’re entering a crucial and exciting time for this group, as we continue to seek improvements across the board and target a strong autumn test series and Six Nations, before our build up to the Rugby World Cup begins in earnest,” Townsend added.

Scotland play 13 tests up until next year’s World Cup in Japan, including three autumn fixtures and the 2019 Six Nations, before four European summer tests against France and Georgia.

Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Christian Radnedge

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