England defence coach Gustard joins Harlequins

England defence coach Paul Gustard is joining Premiership side Harlequins

Premiership club Harlequins confirmed the appointment of England defence coach Paul Gustard as their new head of rugby on Monday.

Gustard, 42, will take up his new post with the club after England's tour to South Africa next month, replacing John Kingston.

"Harlequins is delighted to announce that England defence coach Paul Gustard will join the London club as head of rugby, following the conclusion of England's summer tour to South Africa," the club said in a statement.

Former Leicester, London Irish and Saracens flanker Gustard has worked alongside England head coach Eddie Jones since January 2016 and is under contract with the Rugby Football Union until after the 2019 World Cup.

"Opportunities like this don't come along very often," said Gustard. "To be given the chance to lead a club as rich in talent, heritage and support as Harlequins is hugely exciting.

"My relationship with Eddie is strong and positive. He has supported me in accepting this new role and I will continue to have a strong relationship with him on our tour to South Africa and beyond."

Jones said Gustard was a good choice for the role, adding: "He has made a big contribution to the England coaching team as our defence coach and I'm happy that he has this opportunity to develop and prove himself in a head coach role."

Gustard helped England to a first series win in Australia, plus back-to-back Six Nations titles in 2016 and 2017, but Jones's side had to settle for fifth this year.

Harlequins finished 10th in the Premiership after winning just seven of their 22 matches.