Harlequins’ early-season optimism has suffered a setback with assistant coach Alex Codling parting company with the club just matches into the new Gallagher Premiership campaign.


The Londoners followed up an opening weekend 22-19 defeat at Exeter by beating Bristol 22-17 in their second game last weekend, but they now face into Friday’s trip to Northampton one staff member down following Codling’s strangely timed departure.  

In a brief statement that ran to just over 50 words on Wednesday afternoon, Harlequins said: “Harlequins coach Alex Codling has parted company with the club.

“Codling has worked as the club’s forwards coach since June 2018 and was a key part of the coaching team last season.

“As Alex leaves to pursue other opportunities, Harlequins thanks him for his hard work and wish him every success in the future.”

(Continue reading below…)

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It is a curious development to lose a coach just weeks into the new Premiership season following the lengthy pre-season brought about by the World Cup being on in Japan. 

Director of rugby Paul Gustard enjoyed a positive first season in charge at the Stoop, guiding the club from 10th to a fifth-place finish. However, he told RugbyPass before his second season got started that he was aiming way higher second time around.   

“I don’t want to be fifth. I don’t want to be sitting mid-table,” he said. “I want to be pushing towards the top and trying to win things. Until we are in that kind of situation, I’ll forever feel disappointed that we didn’t get in the top four and give ourselves a fighting chance.”

WATCH: Paul Gustard sat down with RugbyPass, Johan Ackermann and Declan Kidney ahead of the new Gallagher Premiership season  

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