Scotland fans cannot agree whether awarding Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend a new contract until 2023 was the right decision.

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Townsend will lead Scotland to the next Rugby World Cup having taken over from Vern Cotter in 2017, but he has not been able to convince all his fanbase since the Kiwi left.

This news has received a mixed reaction, with Scottish fans dividing into two camps. There are those that feel that this is the best group of players Scotland have had in years, and that talent should not be squandered with the wrong coach.

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Ryan Wilson responds to claims Scotland are deluded:

With Stuart Hogg and Finn Russell in the backs, and an ever impressive back row, the shape of this Scotland team is probably the best it has looked in 20 years. So Scotland’s dismal showing at the 2019 RWC has obviously been mentioned as one of Townsend’s failings and remains a black mark on his record, but it has been said that the team as a whole have regressed ever since Cotter left.

To counter this, other fans have highlighted some of the poor results and form Scotland were showing under Cotter. He was agonisingly close to leading them to a RWC semi-final in 2015, but Scotland were also awarded the wooden spoon at that year’s Six Nations.

It has also been raised that Scotland have been far more competitive in recent years against top nations. Their victory over France in this year’s Six Nations and a first win in Wales since 2002 are signs of improvement that fans want to see.

Additionally, there is a sense of realism amongst some fans, who recognise that Scotland cannot compete with the player pool and depth that England and France have to choose from. Both nations are in a very good position currently, with England making a RWC final, winning the Six Nations and the Autumn Nations Cup in just over the space of a year, and France looking the best they have looked by far in a decade with a fountain of young talent.

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The reality may be that Scotland’s improvement is being overshadowed by other nations currently.
It was a mixed autumn for Scotland, so Townsend may not have been able to win over some doubting supporters, but with his new contract already given, the upcoming Six Nations may prove some fans right or wrong.

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