Paul Gustard has been ousted with immediate effect at struggling Harlequins, the club releasing an early Wednesday afternoon statement bringing to an end the ex-England assistant coach’s stint at The Stoop where he succeeded John Kingston in 2018.
Harlequins are currently sixth in the Gallagher Premiership and their last outing under Gustard saw them throw away a handsome lead at home to London Irish in the sort of disappointing performance that had become a regular feature under the coach.
The Harlequins statement read: “Harlequins confirms that head of rugby Paul Gustard will leave the club. Having reached this decision it has been mutually agreed between Paul and the club that he will leave with immediate effect to enable him to pursue other opportunities.
“Paul, who joined the club in the summer of 2018, has overseen a major transformation of the playing squad and departs with Harlequins competing for the second consecutive year in the Heineken Champions Cup. Having narrowly missed out on qualification for the playoffs of the Gallagher Premiership in his first season, Harlequins has continued to develop over the last two years.
“The club finished sixth in the interrupted 2019/20 Gallagher Premiership campaign and it reached the Premiership Cup final, narrowly losing to Sale Sharks in the Covid-19 delayed match. The club thanks Paul for his tireless energy and commitment over the last two-and-a-half years. His passion and drive to succeed have been evident throughout his time at the club. Everyone at Harlequins wishes Paul and his family all the very best for the future.
“You’re thinking, well how much does a Chris Ashton want? Well, he’d want £200K, £250K. He might get offered £150K, a bit less"
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 19, 2021
“For the remainder of the current season, Billy Millard, general manager of rugby, will oversee the existing experienced coaching team of Jerry Flannery, Nick Evans and Adam Jones. Billy has overseen the management of the coaching team and all of our rugby operations since joining Harlequins in 2018.
“He is hugely experienced having coached the Australian 7s team for four years, been a head coach and director of rugby for Sydney University, head coach for Melbourne Rebels, attack and backs Coach at Cardiff Blues and Connacht, and backs coach with the USA. The club will determine the optimum future structure for its coaching team and will confirm any further changes and appointments in due course.”
"We won more trophies when I was the head coach at Harlequins than at any time in the professional era. I know what I have achieved."#ICYMI: @heagneyl ??? caught up with John Kingston earlier last Autumn and he had plenty to get off his chesthttps://t.co/RbSZEGTjaH
— RugbyPass (@RugbyPass) January 3, 2021
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