Gregor Townsend

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Gregor Townsend
Full name Gregor Peter John Townsend
Date of birth (1973-04-26) 26 April 1973 (age 41)
Place of birth Galashiels, Scotland
Height 6 ft 2 in (1.88 m)
Weight 93 kg (14 st 9 lb)
School Galashiels Academy
University University of Edinburgh
Rugby union career
Current status
Position(s) Retired
Playing career
Position Fly-half, centre or fullback
Amateur clubs
Years Club / team
1992, 1995
Gala RFC
correct as of 24 June 2014.
Professional / senior clubs
Years Club / team Caps (points)
Border Reivers
Natal Sharks
Northampton Saints


correct as of 24 June 2014.
National team(s)
Years Club / team Caps (points)
British and Irish Lions
correct as of 24 June 2014.
Coaching career
Years Club / team
Glasgow Warriors
Scotland national rugby union team

Gregor Peter John Townsend MBE (born 26 April 1973 in Galashiels) is a former Scottish rugby union player who played at fly-half, full back and latterly centre. He represented both Scotland and the British and Irish Lions winning 82 caps for Scotland (twice as captain) and two for the Lions. Townsend is currently Head Coach of the Glasgow Warriors.

Playing career[edit]

Townsend was first with Gala RFC, coming through from their ranks from the mini section. He won his first full cap for Scotland in March 1993, as substitute for Craig Chalmers in the Five Nations match against England at Twickenham. He made more of an impact in the 1994 Five Nations Championship as Scotland, who had a poor campaign, lost heavily to Wales in the opening match. Townsend was one of the few Scotland players to impress and had a drop goal controversially ruled out early in the match. He looked certain to be the match winner in the following match against England with a superb drop goal with only seconds remaining, as a much improved Scotland lost 15-14 to a last minute penalty by England's, Jon Callard. Townsend was a member of the Scotland team who finished runners up behind England in both the 1995 Five Nations Championship and 1996 Five Nations Championship. He missed the 1995 Rugby World Cup due to injury. In the 1999 Five Nations Championship, Townsend scored a try against every other country, becoming the first Scotsman since 1925 to achieve this feat. His efforts helped Scotland become champions.

In 1995 Gregor joined Northampton Saints and joined the winning 1997 British Lions tour to South Africa. He left Northampton Saints in 1998 for the French club Brive.

In 2000 he moved to Castres and then returned to Scotland to play with The Borders.

Townsend represented Scotland at the 2003 Rugby Union World Cup, but afterwards was most controversially deemed surplus to requirements by Scotland coach Matt Williams at just thirty years old.

In 2004, free to travel the world after being relieved of Scotland duties, he represented the Natal Sharks in the then Super 12 and played the 2004–05 season with Montpellier in France. He returned to the Borders for the 2005–06 season as a player and coach.


Townsend was appointed Backs Coach to the Scotland nation team in 2008. He was then appointed Attack Coach. In 2012 Townsend was appointed by the SRU to the position of Head Coach to the Glasgow Warriors.

Toonie flip[edit]

This is the name of the magical reverse pass which Gregor gave to Gavin Hastings for Scotland to register a dramatic and famous last-minute 23–21 victory against France in Paris in 1995.


  • Bath, Richard (ed.) The Complete Book of Rugby (Seven Oaks Ltd, 1997 ISBN 1-86200-013-1)
  • Townsend, Gregor Talk of the Toony: The Autobiography of Gregor Townsend (HarperSport, 2007 ISBN 978-0-00-725113-1)

External links[edit]