Gregor Townsend to replace Vern Cotter as Scotland rugby head coach in June 2017

Townsend will take over from Cotter when his deal expires in June 2017. Credit: PA

Gregor Townsend has been named as Vern Cotter's successor as Scotland head coach.

The Scottish Rugby Union has announced that the Glasgow head coach will take over in June 2017, when Cotter's contract expires.

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson said: "Gregor's abilities as a head coach are evident and he is increasingly becoming one of the most sought-after coaches in the game."

Townsend has impressed since taking charge of Glasgow in 2012, after a three-year stint as an assistant coach with the national team.

The 43-year-old has led Warriors to the Guinness Pro12 play-offs in each of his four seasons in charge and guided them to their first title in 2015, winning the play-offs after topping the table.

The 82-times capped international said: "I am incredibly proud to take on the Scotland head coach role at the end of the season.

"It is a real honour to be given the responsibility of coaching the national team and I look forward to working with such an impressive group of players.

"I'd like to thank Scottish Rugby for this opportunity and also the supporters, players and staff at Glasgow Warriors for their support over the past four years. My focus is firmly on the season ahead with Glasgow and I will be doing all I can to help the club continue to progress this year."

Cotter almost took Scotland into the World Cup semi-finals last year but was denied by a controversial late penalty against Australia. Scotland went on to win two games in the RBS 6 Nations earlier this year but the SRU has decided that Townsend is the man to take them forward after next year's Six Nations.