Townsend plays down Lions link

Date published: November 4 2016

Glasgow head coach Gregor Townsend has cooled talk of his possible involvement in the British and Irish Lions tour to New Zealand.

Townsend is set to take over the Scotland reins from Vern Cotter in June 2017, but there have been rumours that the Lions may come calling.

Lions head coach Warren Gatland is reportedly impressed by the Warriors boss, 43, who led his club outfit to a first PRO12 title last season.

However, Townsend has played down speculation he could be a part of the Lions setup, which would of course see him not tour with Scotland.

“I’ve never been approached or talked to about a Lions coaching role,” he told BBC Sport.

“I’ve never coached the Lions before so it seems wrong to be talking about a job that has never been discussed or I’ve ever done before.

“My focus is firmly on Glasgow. This job is very difficult. It requires a lot of investment of time and effort, and that’s what’s going to take me right up until hopefully the end of May.

“After that the focus will turn on to a very exciting job and a really important job with Scotland.”