Glasgow Warriors: Gregor Townsend 'wants to stay'

By Phil GoodladBBC Scotland
Glasgow Warriors coach Gregor Townsend
Gregor Townsend's Glasgow Warriors are second top of the Pro12 table

Scottish Rugby chief executive Mark Dodson believes Gregor Townsend will remain Glasgow Warriors head coach despite attracting interest elsewhere.

Townsend's side sit second top of the Pro12 and narrowly missed out on qualifying for the quarter-finals of the European Cup.

"He wants to take the club to a different place," said Dodson.

"People realise that Gregor is doing such a fantastic job and making such progress. Why would you want to leave?"

Townsend was part of Scotland's national coaching set-up before taking charge of Glasgow in 2012.

Asked if rival clubs had been in touch with Scottish Rugby to express an interest in the 41-year-old Scot, Dodson told BBC Scotland: "People want to look at the people we've got in there and that goes up to international level with Vern Cotter as well.

"We do know that we have coaches who are creating waves elsewhere.

"I'm sure people want to talk to us all the time, but we don't talk publicly about any of those issues."

Alan Solomons took charge of Scotland's other Pro12 side, Edinburgh, in 2013, when the South African signed a two-year contract.

The 64-year-old has consistently described it as a long-term project and has suggested that his rebuilding has started to bring results in the last couple of months.

Edinburgh coach Alan Solomons
Alan Solomons signed a two-year contract with Edinburgh in 2013

"We are talking to Alan," said Dodson. "As it stands, there is no rush to make a decision around that.

"Alan knows from me and also from the board here that we value his talents and we will take a view in the fullness of time."

Edinburgh have yet to match the high of their 2012 Heineken Cup semi-final appearance since Solomons took over from the sacked Michael Bradley and presently lie seventh in the Pro12.

"I don't accept that Edinburgh are not moving forward - they certainly are," said Dodson.

"We are probably in a three-way scrap for the top-six positions with Scarlets and Connacht and Edinburgh have just got into the quarter-finals of the Challenge Cup.

"This is with a team that is in transition that Alan is building the basics for.

"I know they weren't playing the kind of rugby people wanted at the beginning of the season, but now it is starting to work."

Dodson said that the national body's reduced debt burden meant it had more leeway when discussing contracts with coaches and players.

However, it was announced this month that Glasgow would be losing backs Sean Maitland and Niku Matawalu to London Irish and Bath respectively in the summer.

"Let's not get carried away, we are in a really difficult position in terms of the European and international game trying to keep players and trying to be at the same level as people who have the opportunity to buy players," said Dodson."

The chief executive also described Glasgow as a team "in transition" and insisted that Scotland full-back Maitland's departure was "a rugby decision".

"Gregor has his squad and knows how he wants that squad to look and some players want to move on for other reasons, rugby or financial," he added.

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