Fagerson underlines Scotland coaching contrast

19 May 2017 04:24

The "fear of God" may have been lifted from the Scotland squad but Zander Fagerson insists there will be no slacking now that Gregor Townsend is in charge.

The new national team head coach's first week in post has given those who were not part of his Glasgow revival the chance to draw their opening impressions.

And most, according to Fagerson, one of Townsend's old Scotstoun troops, will just be relieved they no longer face having to risk the wrath of former head coach Vern Cotter.

The famously stern New Zealander reigned with an iron fist, it but helped the Scots punch above their weight.

The job of continuing Scotland's recent progression as they target the 2019 World Cup now falls to Townsend. A lthough he may not possess the menacing snarl of his predecessor, Fagerson is certain Townsend will make his mark in his own way.

The Warriors prop said: "It's been good to get back involved and get back together with the boys and new coaching staff. It's been weird to have Gregor there, though. We've just finished the season at Glasgow and now come back in and it feels like a Glasgow session again.

"The coaching techniques are different to Vern's but we're all getting to know each other. You can make a mistake and not get yelled at. With Vern you'd just get a b******ing.

"I'd say the approach has changed under Gregor, it's more detailed certainly. We're recapping a few things and he's bringing things from Glasgow, but new things as well. It's a blank slate for everyone, we're just trying to get as much in as possible so there's a lot of work, a lot of notes.

"Vern and Gregor are two fantastic coaches and both get their point across. You either buy in or you don't. Gregor likes a review and likes seeing you doing your work and going over your clips. He likes you to do that instead of him coming to you. Vern was pretty much the same, he'd call you out if you did something wrong. I just think Gregor's more about details.

"It's all about the process of performance and detail. If you don't run your dummy lines you'll hear about it but in different ways. One puts the fear of God into you and the other says, 'Just do it again'."

Townsend will unveil his vision for the national side when they kick off the first leg of their Asia-Pacific tour against Italy in Singapore on June 10.

And Fagerson revealed the new boss has made clear he plans to make use of every spare second over the next three weeks to ensure his new players are 'on message' for their first public exhibition.

"You could say that there's more detail from Glasgow to Scotland now, but he's always been meticulous with what he does," explained the 21-year-old.

"He's always very acute with the details. If you muck it up or run a wrong line you'll know ."

The trip to the southern hemisphere - which also includes Tests against Australia and Fiji - will also give Fagerson the chance to bank even more international experience.

The fresh-faced forward has started the Scots' last eight matches but has rarely been schooled by his more-seasoned opponents.

But while he is hungry for more he admits he will have to suppress his appetite for other sweet treats.

He said: "I wouldn't have believed you 12 months ago if you'd told me how many games for Scotland I'd have played by this point, but certain things happen.

"I've loved it, really enjoyed the experience and I've brought my game on a bit as well. It's always an honour to play for Scotland and to have played eight in a row is just a dream come true. All I want to do is keep going.

"You play against most of the internationals in the PRO12 and Champions Cup. But it's still a pretty big step up at internationals, a bit more drilled, a bit more clued in. Every week it's always a tough opponent, always a challenge.

"I've been lucky, I've been in the gym since I was younger so I can handle the physicality side of it. I just keep that going and try to cut back on the cakes. Seriously, the game's gone to a lot more running and I pride myself on my fitness. I was heaviest when I was at school but I'm watching my diet more these days."

Source: PA