Paul Gustard is to step down with immediate effect as Harlequins director of rugby following a disappointing season in the Premiership the club announced on Wednesday.

The 44-year-old led Harlequins to two successive European Champions Cup campaigns and to sixth place in last season's Premiership.

This season they lie seventh ending a run of three successive defeats with a 27-27 draw with London Irish in their last match on January 10.

"Harlequins confirms that Head of Rugby, Paul Gustard, will leave the Club," read a club statement on their website.

"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."

Gustard leaves after three years in the post, having quit his role as England defence coach under Eddie Jones in 2018 to do so.

"The Club thanks Paul for his tireless energy and commitment over the last two and a half years," said Harlequins.

"His passion and drive to succeed have been evident throughout his time at the Club."

Harlequins said Billy Millard, General Manager of Rugby and a former coach of the Australian Sevens team, would oversee the existing coaching team for the remainder of the season.

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