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Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston to leave club after 17 years

(Photo: Getty Images)

By Adam Ellis

Harlequins have confirmed director of rugby John Kingston will leave the club at the end of the season.

The confirmation of Kingston’s departure follows the 35-5 defeat suffered by Quins against bottom club London Irish on Saturday and brings to an end his two-year stint as director of rugby.

“I have been at Harlequins for 17 years in differing roles and have grown to love the club almost as if it were part of my family,” said Kingston, promoted from the role of head coach to succeed Conor O’Shea in 2016.

“I am immensely proud of the significant successes that I have been part of in winning the Aviva Premiership, two European Challenge Cup trophies and the LV= Cup.

“The obstacles this season have been well documented and no-one has been more disappointed by our results than me.

Harlequins have lost 12 of their 19 Premiership matches this season and failed to make it out of their Champions Cup pool, winning one game in a group comprising La Rochelle, Wasps and Ulster.

But Kingston was adamant his successor will have all the tools to turn fortunes around at the Stoop.

“In my opinion, this is the strongest squad ever assembled in all my time at Harlequins and this leaves the club in a sound position to go forward,” Kingston said.

“Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see the squad achieve in the near future what I deeply believe it can – winning trophies.”

Reaching an agreement to part company having signed Kingston to an extension in January, Harlequins chief executive David Ellis thanked the coach who was part of the club’s Aviva Premiership and Challenge Cup triumphs in recent years.

”This season has been hugely frustrating and disappointing for everyone at Harlequins, and for none more so than John,” Ellis commented.

“With considerable regret, we have agreed that John should step down as director of rugby.

“On behalf of all at Harlequins, I would like to express our genuine gratitude to John for all he has done during his time at the club.

“The process to recruit someone new who can take Harlequins to the very top of English and European rugby is in hand.”

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