Kingston to leave Harlequins at the end of the season

Harlequins have announced director of rugby John Kingston will leave the club at the end of the season by mutual agreement.

Kingston joined the coaching staff in 2001 and was promoted to his current role in April 2016 to replace Conor O'Shea, who left to take charge of Italy.

Quins finished sixth in the Premiership last season, securing qualification for the European Champions Cup in the process, but have struggled in 2017-18.

They sit ninth in the table having managed just seven wins in 19 league games, while they finished bottom of their group in Europe.

"It is with a very heavy heart that I will be leaving Harlequins at the end of this season," Kingston said in a statement on the club's website.

"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. 

"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."

Kingston - who was previously Quins' head coach before becoming director of rugby - only signed a contract extension in January but the team have won just once in seven league outings in 2018.

''This season has been hugely frustrating and disappointing for everyone at Harlequins, and for none more so than John. With considerable regret, we have agreed that John should step down as director of rugby," chief executive David Ellis said.

"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."

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