Dan McFarland: Scotland will adapt to 'disappointing' exit to Ulster - Gregor Townsend

Scotland coaches Gregor Townsend and Dan McFarland
Gregor Townsend says the plan is to keep Dan McFarland until January

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend says it will be a blow to lose forwards coach Dan McFarland from the national set-up.

It was announced last week that McFarland would be leaving to take over as head coach at Pro14 club Ulster.

"It's disappointing," Townsend said.

"It always is when someone you work closely with moves away, but it's obviously an opportunity for Dan to become a head coach and we'll have to adapt and move on."

Scottish Rugby says McFarland will serve a nine-month notice period before departing in January, although the Irish club are believed to be confident of striking a deal to get their man in place for the start of next season.

"He's still working with us for the next nine months and he'll be on tour," Townsend said as he announced his squad for the summer Tests against Canada, United States and Argentina.

"Carl Hogg's joined us for our coaching meetings and him and Dan will share responsibilities on this tour.

"We see that working well, but we need to look ahead and see who will replace Dan when he does go to Ulster.

"The plan is nine months, which is 21 January before the Six Nations and we have to have someone in before then."

Townsend named a 33-man squad for the summer tour and it features six uncapped players, with several key men rested.

Scarlets' John Barclay is one of those excused from duty and, with previous Scotland captain Greig Laidlaw also missing, Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally is selected to lead the touring party.

Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally
Edinburgh hooker Stuart McInally will captain Scotland on their summer tour

"The last 12 months, he's made a huge breakthrough," Townsend said of McInally.

"So much of it is down to Stuart. He's an intelligent man and an intelligent player and he knows what he has to do.

"He leads by example when not captain, the way he gets his detail right, his energy and also his defence. He's been an outstanding tackler this year.

"He's captained Edinburgh really well, he's thrived with the captaincy. Bonus for us not taking the captains from the last couple of years is we're getting to see someone else that we believe can perform that role well."

Finn Russell is another of Scotland's key players to be left out. Townsend explained that it was partially to give the fly-half a break before he joins French club Racing 92 from Glasgow Warriors in the summer but also an acknowledgement that he must build some depth at number 10.

"Finn is not one of our older players, so it was a decision partly based on the challenges he'll have going to France and he's just had a long season," Townsend continued.

"But it's more in what we want to see from the other guys on tour. We've got a number of guys who can play stand-off.

"Adam Hastings has played there more regularly than anyone else, but you've got Pete Horne, Ruaridh Jackson, James Lang, even Blair Kinghorn and Stuart Hogg can cover there.

"We have a couple of players in mind who we think can play there on tour."

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