John Kingston to replace Conor O’Shea as Harlequins director of rugby
Harlequins head coach John Kingston will take over as director of rugby when Conor O’Shea leaves
Former England assistant coach Graham Rowntree has been appointed as forwards coach, while number eight Nick Easter will become defence coach
Backs coach Mark Mapletoft will succeed Kingston as head coach
Harlequins have confirmed John Kingston will replace the outgoing Conor O’Shea as director of rugby for the 2016/17 season.
Kingston will be replaced as head coach by Mark Mapletoft, while Graham Rowntree will join and take up the role as new forwards coach.
Meanwhile, long-serving number eight Nick Easter, who scored a hat-trick in England’s final pool game during the Rugby World Cup, will become defence coach.
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 joins the new-look set up after losing his coaching role with England following the 2015 World Cup.
He said: “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.”