IT IS still not impossible that Gregor Townsend will miss the first few games in his new role as Scotland head coach after Warren Gatland, who will lead the British and Irish Lions to New Zealand next summer, refused to rule him out of the running to be one of his assistants.

With Scotland's trip to Australia next summer overlapping with all but the final couple of weeks of the Lions, it is just about impossible for anybody to do both, meaning that if Townsend and the Scottish Rugby Union were to let him go with Gatland they would need yet another temporary coach for the Scotland side.

"Gregor has done really well, particularly with Glasgow," said Gatland at the official launch of the new Lions jersey. "He already has time with Scotland and with the experience he got there, he has gone back to Glasgow and implemented a lot of the things he learned from international rugby. It is pleasing from my point of view to see a coach go, learn, get experience and take that back."

Gatland, did rule out Vern Cotter, the current Scotland coach, because he will be moving to France.

The former Ireland and Wales head coach also revealed he will not see Scotland live in any of the November Tests. The key period when it comes to selection will be the RBS Six Nations Championship.

"The Autumn Internationals are important but the Six Nations is our bread-and-butter," Gatland said. "That is our competition as we get closer to selection. Players and teams need to perform in the Six Nations. For the Scottish players, a good Six Nations would definitely have an impact."