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Harlequins statement: Tabai Matson is no longer the head coach

By Liam Heagney
(Photo by David Rogers/Getty Images)

Tabai Matson is no longer the head coach at Harlequins, Billy Millard instead taking charge of first-team affairs for the 2023/24 season with the former Fijian international taking up a newly created role at the club. It was the summer of 2021, just weeks after the Londoners has spectacularly won the Gallagher Premiership title, when Matson was appointed head coach in succession to the ousted Paul Gustard.


Matson, who previously had a short stint in England at Bath, arrived following the conclusion of his role as head coach of the New Zealand U20s side, but results haven’t been the best at Harlequins. They relinquished their league title with a semi-final loss at Saracens last year and they only managed a sixth-place finish in May.

A statement read: “Following the conclusion of the 2022/23 season, Harlequins have undertaken a review of the coaching department, taking into account the arrival of new experienced coach Danny Wilson, and has now refined the roles and responsibilities to support the club’s aim of delivering sustained success.

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“Billy Millard, who joined the club in 2018 and was integral to the 2021 Gallagher Premiership title, will move from his role as director of rugby performance to director of rugby and have a direct responsibility for the men’s first-team squad, the coaching team and support staff.

“Danny Wilson, who officially joins Harlequins this week, has been appointed to the role of coaching coordinator and will also be responsible for the lineout and contact areas. Danny brings with him huge experience having successfully coached in the URC, internationally with Scotland and most recently in the Premiership with Leicester Tigers.


“The experienced duo of Nick Evans and Adam Jones will remain in their positions as attack coach and scrum and transition coach respectively, with former Ireland international Jerry Flannery now having sole responsibility as defence coach. Flannery will be supported by former Quins centre and transition coach Jordan Turner-Hall.

“Tabai Matson has transitioned into a newly created director of performance development coaching role. He will oversee a range of initiatives across the performance programmes of both the men’s and women’s teams designed to support success of the club on and off the pitch.


“This will include leading the men’s Skills programme, leading our transition player programme, overseeing the strategic partnership with London Scottish to ensure the development of those talented senior academy players, mentoring our developing coaches and further key new club initiatives that will shortly be announced.”

Harlequins chief executive officer Laurie Dalrymple stated: “We are committed to ensuring we deliver an identity of performance that continues to be reflective of this club’s DNA and we recognise we have an exceptionally talented group of coaches who are determined to deliver our vision and both our short and long-term goals.

“However, we should also reflect that in the 2022/23 season we did not achieve our ambitions on the pitch and so it is right that we review how to get the most out of this coaching group and we are determined to evolve and develop, balancing skill sets to ensure success across all performance departments.”


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Poorfour 5 hours ago
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