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With the Pivac era now a distant memory, Warren Gatland has a rich seam of talent to select from in the Six Nations

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Townsend left with Scotland void to fill as AB Zondagh set to exit

By Ian Cameron
Duhan van der Merwe (L), and Jamie Ritchie (C), of Scotland with attack coach A B Zondagh (R), (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Gregor Townsend and Scotland look set to lose assistant attack coach AB Zondagh to the Top 14 – with reports in France suggesting Lyon has signed the 36-year-old.

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Multiple reports in France have Zondagh becoming attack coach at LOU Rugby, replacing Kenny Lynn this summer, just months out from the Rugby World Cup in France.

It looks like Zondagh will become assistant coach to Xavier Garbajosa at Les Loups, who are currently sitting in ninth on the Top 14 table, prior to the World Cup.

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Alan-Basson Zondagh, who is South African, joined Scotland from Toulouse RFC following the team’s European and French Championship double-winning season in 2020/21.

He joined the club in 2019 as an assistant coach focussing on kicking, attack and skills development, having previously been a consultant with the side in 2018.

He previously coached at the Sharks in his native South Africa, earning several promotions in skills and high-performance roles from his first association in 2013 through to 2019, winning the Currie Cup on two occasions in 2016 and 2018.

His career began at the highly respected Rugby Performance Centre in South Africa in 2007 before coaching roles with the Border Bulldogs followed from 2012, leading on to the association with Sharks.

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Scotland’s previous assistant coach focussing on attack, Mike Blair, was appointed as the head coach of Edinburgh Rugby.

It will leave Townsend with a vacuum to fill.

It’s potentially more bad news for Scotland, who have lost the services of Adam Hastings ahead of the Guinness Six Nations.

The fly-half damaged his shoulder while playing for Gloucester in their Gallagher Premiership defeat away to Leicester on Christmas Eve.

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A statement on the club’s website on Thursday revealed that Hastings will require surgery, while head coach George Skivington said earlier this week “he will not be back any time soon”.

It now looks likely that Munster flyhalf Ben Healy, who has just signed for Edinburgh, could be in line for a call-up to the squad as a result. Healy qualifies to play for Scotland through his Glasgow-born mother.

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