Gregor Townsend believes Warriors can become European power

Glasgow Warriors' new head coach Gregor Townsend believes he can help make the team one of the best in Europe.

He has now officially succeeded Sean Lineen, who led Warriors to fourth in the RaboDirect Pro12 league last term.

Townsend was on the Scotland coaching staff under Andy Robinson but this is his first job as head coach.

He said: "I've learned a lot from all the coaches I've worked under as a player - and from Andy Robinson who is one of the best in the business."

And the former British and Irish Lion added: "But I know my own strengths and I'll be doing things my way.

"The thing I'm most excited about is the day-to-day contact with the players, working on their games and seeing them improve.

"That's what you don't get as an international coach."

In his first campaign, Townsend has the challenge of matching Lineen's feat of taking Warriors to the league playoffs in an impressive last season - a task he relishes.

"It's very exciting. I can't wait to get the players back and start coaching them," he told BBC Scotland.

"I've been with the staff for over a week and this is the official start of what will be a really good season, I hope.

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I'm inheriting a really good group of players that work very hard for each other and also work hard for the jerseys

Gregor Townsend Warriors head coach

"I believe we can become one of the leading teams in Europe.

"We are moving to a fantastic stadium [Scotstoun] and we have great crowd support.

"We want to become the first Scottish team to lift a Rabo or a Heineken Cup and I believe we have the players to do that."

Johnnie Beattie, Frederico Aramburu and Richie Gray will be notable absences from the Glasgow squad next season but Townsend, from Galashiels, is upbeat about the quality of players at his disposal.

"I'm inheriting a really good group of players that work very hard for each other and also work hard for the jerseys," he said.

"Most of the players we've got are young and can only get better, and some of our experienced players are at the top of their game so it makes a good mix for next season.

"They proved last year that they're very tough to beat and don't give the opposition any cheap points, with the best defensive record in the league.

"To me, that's the basis for success in any team sport, especially in rugby.

"We can improve parts of the defence, parts of the game plan and a lot of the attack.

"We can do better and make sure that attention to detail throughout all the coaching staff is applied throughout the season."

In addition to learning from Robinson, Townsend cites the experience of playing under Ian McGeechan and Jim Telfer as helpful in developing his coaching skills.

Coaches Matt Taylor and Shade Munro will be on hand to assist in Warriors' new home in Glasgow's west end, but Townsend is not looking to make major changes to the team's tactics.

"It's more upgrading and making little adjustments, because the basis is there," he said.

"If you look at the successful sides, with the likes of Leinster, who are the best team in Europe, or Harlequins who won the English Premiership, they play a great game of attack and defence.

"You need the defence there, but also you must play at pace, and that's a big focus for us."