Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard

Paul Gustard departs Harlequins with immediate effect

Harlequins head of rugby Paul Gustard has had his contract terminated at Twickenham Stoop.

The former Saracens and England defence coach had been under mounting pressure in the third year of his tenure at Harlequins, after winning just two of their eight games this season in all competitions.

A club statement read: “Harlequins confirms that head of rugby, Paul Gustard, will leave the club. Having reached this decision it has been mutually agreed between Paul and the club that he will leave with immediate effect to enable him to pursue other opportunities.

“The club thanks Paul for his tireless energy and commitment over the last two and a half years. His passion and drive to succeed have been evident throughout his time at the Club. Everyone at Harlequins wishes Paul and his family all the very best for the future.

“For the remainder of the current season, Billy Millard, general manager of rugby, will oversee the existing experienced coaching team of Jerry Flannery, Nick Evans and Adam Jones.

“The club will determine the optimum future structure for its coaching team and will confirm any further changes and appointments in due course.”

Gustard turned down an offer to remain on Eddie Jones’ staff in 2018 to sign terms with the Premiership club, and guided Quins to fifth and sixth place finishes over the past two seasons.

There has been a growing undercurrent of unrest at Harlequins in recent months within the playing squad and within the recruitment department, according to the Daily Mail.

Harlequins are understood to have been turned down by Bath lock Elliot Stooke, who instead elected to sign for Wasps for next season.

Rising star Marcus Smith has also been linked with a move to a Premiership rival, most keenly with Bath.

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