Scottish rugby chiefs need to bring in an independent figure -an ex-player or coach with no links to the bosses at Murrayfield - to evaluate how Gregor Townsend did in the Six Nations.

There is a concern that the Scotland head coach will end up marking his own homework and that shouldn’t be allowed to happen.

There is nobody in a position within the governing body who will be around for much longer to put him under proper long-term scrutiny and even if there was after yet another failed Six Nations campaign an independent input is required to decide whether Townsend stays or goes.

It is astonishing some fans have been praising Scotland because they lost to eventual Six Nations champions Ireland by just four points. They hardly fired a shot all game and Huw Jones’ try was too little, too late.

READ MORE: Five things we learned from Scotland's defeat to Ireland

The harsh reality is that Townsend’s team lost three out of five Six Nations matches -only Wales who were whitewashed lost more -and finished fourth in the table and that isn’t good enough.

Townsend remains firm in his belief that Scotland are getting close to being Six Nations contenders. He isn’t the first and won’t be the last Scotland head coach to promise jam tomorrow and not deliver.

What is worrying is that there is a changing of the guard going on among the powerbrokers at  Scottish Rugby to the extent there is nobody within the corridors of power at Murrayfield staying around long enough to take Townsend to task over such a poor series of results. The lack of scrutiny is a worry.

If you are among those who wanted him sacked after the Italy defeat- and there were quite a few- you have to ask yourself who was going to do it?

SRU chief executive Mark Dodson is working his notice and leaves in June after 13 years in the top job.

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As he is heading for the exit door, he should not be involved in making such an important long-term decision over the future of the head coach, even if he wanted to.

The same goes for Scottish Rugby's performance director Jim Mallinder who is supposed to mark Townsend’s Six Nations report card and who is effectively his immediate boss. He has also handed in his notice and leaves within the next few months. 

READ MORE: Gregor Townsend: Scotland progressing despite Ireland loss

For both Dodson and Mallinder- the two most powerful men in Scottish rugby- to be allowed to leave at the same time is poor succession planning.

Rather worryingly from a rugby perspective, the most powerful man in Scottish Rugby is John McGuigan who will oversee any discussion over how well Townsend did in the Six Nations. 

He was only appointed last May after 1990 Grand Slam legend John Jeffrey stood down with immediate effect to concentrate on his time-consuming role as vice-chairman of World Rugby.

Has McGuigan the rugby experience to judge how well Townsend did in the Six Nations and whether he should be allowed to see out the last two years of his contract? Never in a million years. 

He has been brought in as chairman of the Scottish Rugby Limited Board- the operating arm responsible for the day-to-day running of the governing body. Other members include former Scottish Conservative Party leader Ruth Davidson. 

Such is the bureaucratic nature of Scottish Rugby there is also the Scottish Rugby Board that sits above the Scottish Rugby Limited Board.

They look on themselves as ‘custodians’ of the Scottish game and meet three times a year to go over the decisions made by the Scottish Rugby Limited Board. Think House of Lords to House of Commons.

Cards on the table here. I was one of the few journalists that McGuigan held private talks with when he first took over.

Scotland Rugby News: Scottish Rugby Chair John McGuiganScottish Rugby Chair John McGuigan (Image: SNS)

He wanted my views on how open I felt Scottish Rugby was and how they dealt with the media. I was impressed.

He was a very good listener but rugby-wise by his own admission he is still learning the ropes with football his main passion when he was growing up.

He has an impressive business CV with his last job before he retired being Group Customer Director at Phoenix Group- an insurance service provider based in London.

He was head-hunted for the job at Scottish Rugby that he came out of retirement in his early 60s to take despite not having a rugby background.

He may be the man who leads Scottish Rugby forward and strengthens the links with the amateur clubs that became strained under Dodson but he shouldn’t be the man to decide on how well Townsend did in the Six Nations.

As I said earlier I found him a good listener. He should bring in someone with no links to the current Scotland set-up to run the rule over how Townsend did in the Six Nations.

He should listen to what he or she says and act upon their recommendations, even if it means Townsend has to go.

Whatever decision is made the top brass at Murrayfield should not be allowed to have a cosy private chat behind closed doors over another failed Scotland Six Nations campaign.