Scotland head coach Gregor Townsend has disclosed that he takes inspiration by looking to Manchester City Manager Pep Guardiola’s tactics.
Townsend took over from his predecessor Vern Cotter as Scotland chief in May and will be overseeing Tests against Australia, New Zealand and Samoa next month.
Before the 44-year-old took the Scotland job, he reportedly enjoyed a successful stint managing Glasgow Warriors, clinching the PRO12 title in 2015.
He has spoken about his intention to adopt Guardiola’s coaching style in moulding his Scotland side, specially focusing on exciting attacking play and rapid recovery of possession in the defence.
“My aim is to create a Scotland team full of work-rate, energy and speed,” Townsend told BBC Radio. “Defence and work-rate defines winning teams.
He went on: “I believe people watch Guardiola’s attack more than his defence. But his teams at Barcelona had a rule to win back the ball.
“They started at seven seconds, and then it went down to three seconds” said the Scotland boss who admittedly takes inspiration from the connection between defence and attack in Guardiola’s squads.
Guardiola has been enjoying an incredible coaching career all through that has seen him bag 14 trophies in four years while at Barcelona, and seven trophies in three years in German during his stint with Bayern Munich.
Even though he failed to bag a trophy in his initial campaign while in charge at Manchester City last season, his team is on an 11-game winning line.
After leading Scotland to two wins in three Tests in June this year as they thrashed Australia plus Italy, Townsend is focusing on a tighter rapport between defence and attack.
Townsend further said: “What we see is those three great passes and the goal to win 7-2 [in Guardiola’s Manchester City side],” and concluded by saying: “What we don’t see is how they got the ball in the first place. Defence is linked to the attack.”