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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.”