Harlequins are on the lookout for a new head of rugby, after Paul Gustard left the club by mutual consent on Wednesday. 

Gustard, 44, joined the south-west Londoners after stepping down as England’s defence coach in the summer of 2018, and led them to fifth and sixth-place finishes in the Premiership in his two full seasons in charge. 

While successfully qualifying for the Champions Cup in both of those campaigns, Quins have fallen short in their attempts to qualify for the Premiership play-offs throughout Gustard’s tenure. 

This season, the Twickenham Stoop outfit have won just two of their six league fixtures so far and sit seventh in the table, while they are yet to register a point in Europe’s premier competition.

Quins did reach the final of the 2019/20 Premiership Rugby Cup, but lost out 27-19 to Sale Sharks in September’s AJ Bell Stadium showdown. 

A Harlequins club statement read: “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.” 

General manager Billy Millard - who coached the Australia Sevens side for four years and has been at Quins since 2018 - will occupy the hotseat for the remainder of the ongoing season, with support from the existing coaching team of Jerry Flannery, Nick Evans and Adam Jones.