Harlequins have announced that Mark Mapletoft will transition from his current senior team role under Paul Gustard to take over as academy coach.
Alongside his new role, Mapletoft will assist with coach mentoring and continue to support sections of the professional rugby environment.
After nine years with the senior team serving as backs coach, attack coach and most recently head coach, Mapletoft has decided to step away from the first team environment to concentrate his skillset on pathway development and coach education.
The end-of-season departure of Tony Diprose, the club’s academy and global development director, created an opening in the Quins set-up.
Explaining why he went for the role, the 2012 Premiership title winner under Conor O’Shea said: “I’m passionate about the whole coaching spectrum and this is a great opportunity for me to develop my skills and knowledge in another area.
? Harlequins can announce today that Mark Mapletoft will transition from his current role to take over as Academy Coach.
— Harlequins ? (@Harlequins) July 11, 2019
“Player development is central to that and this presents the opportunity for me to continue developing our Harlequins academy as well as our elite performance pathway.
“The impact this area has on our sustainable success is massive and I’m really looking forward to working with the academy team to ensure the production line remains strong. Paul has done a fantastic job in his first season and I know we have the ability and mindset to challenge for honours this year.
Billy Millard, Harlequins’ general manager of rugby, added: “Mark is an experienced and talented coach and a great Harlequins man.
“Those on the player pathway and associated staff members will benefit greatly from his rugby eye and mentorship in all aspects of professional rugby. He has a passion for this area, and I look forward to watching the positive impact he and this academy group have on the club going forwards.”
Mapletoft will start his role immediately.
WATCH: Episode one of The Academy, the six-part RugbyPass documentary series on how Leicester Tigers develop their young players
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