May 21, 2018 / 7:39 AM / in 5 months

Rugby-England defence coach Gustard set for Harlequins switch - reports

May 21 (Reuters) - Paul Gustard is set to leave his role as England defence coach and take over as head of rugby at Premiership side Harlequins, according to multiple reports in the British media.

Harlequins were expected to make the announcement on Monday, reports added, with the 42-year-old former lock likely to officially join the club after England’s three-test tour of South Africa next month.

The former Leicester, London Irish and Saracens flanker began working with England head coach Eddie Jones in 2016 and his current contract with the Rugby Football Union (RFU) was due to see him retain the post until after the 2019 World Cup.

The possible departure of one of his key backroom staff members could prove to be a massive blow for Australian Jones, who will have to line up a replacement with the tournament in Japan just 15 months away.

Harlequins finished 10th in the Premiership this season with only Worcester Warriors and London Irish below them.

The club said last month that they had parted company with director of rugby John Kingston. (Reporting by Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by John O’Brien)

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