Gregor Townsend has spent the past three months reviewing Scotland’s Six Nations campaign, which ultimately ended in a bottom-half finish after threatening moments of promise against Wales and England.  

Now the Scotland head coach is looking forward to getting back out on the training pitch as his new-look squad, including 10 uncapped players, prepare for a four-match tour of the Americas.  

READ MORE: Gregor Townsend talks up new faces in Scotland summer squad

Townsend explained what he has been up to since Scotland’s defeat to Ireland in the middle of March.  

“I’ve been here seven years now so you know what happens between campaigns and you’ve got to make the most of it.  

“You miss the thing you love doing which is coaching and being around not just the playing group, but the wider management team. 

“We meet fairly regularly as a coaching group. We spend a long time doing our reviews, reviews with our players and reviews on each aspect of our game. But then we’ve had a chance to learn.

Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend (right) with scrum coach Pieter de VilliersScotland head coach Gregor Townsend (right) with scrum coach Pieter de Villiers (Image: SNS)

"We watch a lot of rugby and have had a deep dive into half a dozen areas of our game, looking at best practice from other teams in those areas, what we can learn. 

“So you get the opportunity to do things you don’t at club level where it goes from game to game, training session to training session. That is always a positive experience for us as coaches but if we had the choice to do that learning or coach, we’d take coaching.” 

READ MORE: Ten takeaways from Scotland's summer tour squad announcement

Townsend and his staff, forwards coach John Dalziel, defensive mastermind Steve Tandy, attack guru Pete Horne and scrum expert Pieter de Villiers, oversaw a session for Scotland’s under-20s side earlier this month.  

Townsend said that whetted the apetite for getting back on the field with his side when they arrive in camp later this month.  

He said: “Steve Tandy and Pete Horne were saying afterwards how good it was to be back coaching again. We’ve now got 10 days until we’re back into it for real.” 

While there are plenty of new faces in Townsend’s 37-man squad, there is no place for Sione Tuipulotu’s younger brother Mosese, who will join Edinburgh from the Waratahs this summer.  

Mosese Tuipulotu will join Edinburgh rather than linking up with Scotland this summerMosese Tuipulotu will join Edinburgh rather than linking up with Scotland this summer (Image: Getty)

Townsend said the 23-year-old was in his thoughts, but felt an extended pre-season with Sean Everitt’s side would be the best course for Tuipulotu junior.  

“I’ve watched all his games this year at Shield level for Easts and we’re delighted he’s coming to Scotland,” Townsend said.  

READ MORE: Edinburgh confirm signing of Mosese Tuipulotu, brother of Sione

"We feel there is a lot of experience in the centre positions with the players we’ve selected and it’s probably better for Mosese to establish himself at Edinburgh and get the game-time to put pressure on the centres in our squad and also put his hand up for selection in November.” 

Another Scottish-qualified player who has caught the eye this season, but isn’t included, is former Glasgow wing Cole Forbes. He’s been outstanding for The Blues in Super Rugby Pacific, but Townsend explained why he’s not in the picture – at least for the time being.  

“Super Rugby contracts are different in that you really have to make yourself available for the country you’re playing in, especially in New Zealand. So he wasn’t someone that came into our thoughts because he is going to be at The Blues for another season or two. 

Former Glasgow man Cole Forbes has enjoyed an excellent season with The BluesFormer Glasgow man Cole Forbes has enjoyed an excellent season with The Blues (Image: Getty Images)

“It’s a pity he’s no longer in Scotland because we really loved how he played at Glasgow, his competitiveness, and how he was developing as both a winger and full-back, and he’s shown that for The Blues this season.” 

Townsend also confirmed Andy Christie, the Saracens back-row who was outstanding for Scotland in the defeat to Ireland, wasn’t considered as he continues his recovery from a broken arm. Prop Alec Hepburn was also left out due to injury.  

One player Townsend has selected is Adam Hastings, who has endured a torrid run of injuries over the past two years.  

Hastings will return to Glasgow in the summer, and the Scotland boss hopes the move back north of the border will act as a fresh start for the 27-year-old. 

Adam Hastings will move back to Glasgow from Gloucester this summerAdam Hastings will move back to Glasgow from Gloucester this summer (Image: SNS)

He said: “We now just hope he now has a really good run with his body. I think all the injuries have been different, so there's nothing really worrying around it being one part of his body breaking down. It's just been bad luck.”  

While the prospect of playing four tier-two nations is not the most challenging schedule of the Six Nations teams this summer - England are in New Zealand, Wales will face South Africa and Australia, while Ireland are also taking on the world champions – Townsend believes his squad can get plenty out of the trip.  

“These are good teams,” he said, referencing the 2018 defeat to USA and the performances of Chile and Uruguay in the Rugby World Cup as evidence.  

READ MORE: Rob Robertson: What do Scotland gain from touring Americas?

He added: “Uruguay really pushed France in France, so we know these are going to be tough games.  

“There will be certain areas of the game they will challenge us even more, but that's a really good thing for this group of players to be as far away from home and home comforts as possible and deliver a performance that we believe matches our potential, and a real professional performance for those 80 minutes.” 

Townsend said the key to a successful tour – which he acknowledged will be defined by four wins – was building cohesion between a new-look squad.  

He continued: “We're going to have a different team and changes to the team in the first two games. With a squad of 37 you want to give players opportunities.  

“It's being able to build that cohesion with those two different selections, and deal with the challenges in a really positive manner."