Gregor Townsend said the door will remain open on George Turner’s Scotland career after the hooker's move to Japan was confirmed. 

But Townsend admitted it will be “challenging” for 45-times capped Turner to add to that tally while playing for Kobe Steelers. 

READ MORE: Japan move confirmed for Scotland hooker George Turner

The Japan Rugby League One campaign continues to run throughout the Six Nations, raising logistical issues for the 31-year-old's international future. 

Townsend said: “He’s obviously a player who has played really well for us and for Glasgow. We think highly of him, the fact he’s started so many games for us shows what an important player he’s been.

“We wish him all the best with his new chapter in his career.

"I think it will be challenging for him to play international rugby given that their season is on at the same time as our season, especially Six Nations time, and just with travel from Japan, but we’ll see with that further down the line.”

When asked if Turner could return to the Scotland set-up if his club circumstances change, Townsend added: “Absolutely. We think really highly of George as a person and a player.

“He’s someone who has put his body on the line over the years for Scotland and we believe there is still a lot of rugby left in him.

“We had ongoing conversations throughout the Six Nations, the agreement was done during that period, so we were well aware it was an option for him to go to Kobe.

George Turner will leave Glasgow Warriors at the end of the seasonGeorge Turner will leave Glasgow Warriors at the end of the season (Image: SNS)

“I know it was a tough decision for him to leave Glasgow and potentially have a change to his international career but it’s also an opportunity that he thinks is right for himself and his family.

“We’ll see what happens. He’s obviously just been announced as going to Kobe, and we also want to see what happens this summer with the four hookers we have in the squad, especially the three new players in that position.

“We’re hoping that one, if not all three, come through and are knocking on the door for Test selection in November.”

Townsend has also left out Johnny Matthews and Dave Cherry, so there will be opportunities this summer for uncapped duo Robbie Smith and Paddy Harrison, plus Sharks' Dylan Richardson, who will tour alongside Edinburgh's Ewan Ashman. 

Townsend explained why Matthews, the top try scorer in the United Rugby Championship, has not been given a chance to add to the cap he won against Romania at the Rugby World Cup. 

“With Johnny Matthews and Dave Cherry, those are experienced players that have been in our environment before,” he said.

“On this occasion, we wanted to see players we haven’t worked with before who could go out and grab their opportunity.

“Dylan Richardson has been in our environment as a back-rower but he’s played well at hooker this year for the Sharks when he’s been available so we see him growing in that position, and Paddy Harrison and Robbie Smith are two players for the future.”