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Kingston confirmed as Harlequins new boss

Harlequins RFC

As expected, Harlequins have confirmed John Kingston will take over from Conor O’Shea as director of rugby from next season.

Kingston, who had been head coach since 2008, will be assisted by Graham Rowntree as forwards coach and Mark Mapletoft who moves up from backs coach to head coach.

Nick Easter will join the coaching team in charge of defence but he will still be able to play if needs be as he’ll retain a playing contract.

Collin Osborne will continue as skills coach but Tony Diprose will take a step back form the field becoming academy and global development director.

Kingston said: “I’m immensely proud of what I have achieved in the last eight years as Head Coach and taking the role of Director of Rugby is an exciting and well timed new challenge for me.

“Conor O’Shea will leave a lasting legacy on this club with the success we have achieved over the last six years and it is something I am excited to build on heading into our 150th year. He has made a massive impression on me, the squad, staff and supporters and we know he will be greatly missed by the whole Club.

“I’m looking forward to getting the best out of a great group of players and a wonderfully exciting new coaching group during the next era for Harlequins.”

Rowntree commented: “To have the opportunity to coach at such a prestigious and historic club really excites me. Harlequins has a very talented playing squad with a wealth of top class experience and a fantastic crop of youngsters. I can’t wait to join up with the new coaching group and get started.”

Chief Executive David Ellis added: “When we set out on the journey to find a new Director of Rugby we were very clear that we needed somebody who would help drive us onto the next level, while building on our style of play and culture that makes us Harlequins.

“After conducting an extensive and thorough search I am delighted to announce John as our new Director of Rugby. John impressed us all throughout the process. His passion for the Club and our style of play, coupled with his great insight and understanding of our game, will stand us in good stead, and convinced us all he is the right man for the job.

“With the announcements today we are able to augment the strength of our current coaching set up with new thinking and freshness to keep us pushing forward with our ambitions.”

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