Gregor Townsend, a native of Galashiels in the Scottish Borders, is a former rugby player and the current Head Coach of Glasgow Warriors.
Capped 82 times for his country and twice capped by the British Lions, Townsend was named Rugby World player of the year in 1996. Following Scotland’s Five Nations Championship victory in 1999, he was awarded an MBE in 1999 for his services to rugby.
Townsend began his senior rugby career in 1990 for his hometown side, Gala RFC, before going on to play club rugby in England, France, Australia and South Africa. He was the first player to play in all four of rugby’s professional club competitions – the Celtic League, the English Premiership, the French Top 14 and Super Rugby.
His final rugby game was in May 2007 back at the home of Gala RFC, on this occasion representing the Borders rugby team.
After retiring from playing, Townsend worked for the Scottish-based charity, Winning Scotland Foundation and began coaching on a part-time basis with Edinburgh Rugby. He then became an assistant coach with the Scotland team in 2009 up until his appointment as Glasgow Warriors head coach in 2012.
In 2013, at the end of his first season as Warriors head coach, the club made the Play-Offs before reaching the Pro12 Final for the first time in 2014, losing out to Leinster. In 2015, Townsend led Glasgow to their first title, defeating Munster 31-13 to lift the Guinness Pro12 trophy.
In the 2016/17 season Glasgow Warriors reached the quarter-finals of the European Rugby Champions Cup for the first time in their history, securing their place with a 43-0 win against former winners, Leicester Tigers.
He has twice been named the Pro12 Coach of the Year and in 2013 he was awarded SportsScotland Coach of the Year. He studied Politics at the University of Edinburgh and also gained an MBA from Aston University. In 2016, he was awarded an honorary doctorate from the University of Glasgow.
Townsend is set to become the Scotland head coach in June 2017, when he will lead the national team on a summer tour in fixtures against Italy, Australia and Fiji.