‘Adjustments needed to be made’ at Harlequins

Date published: September 29 2016

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Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston has outlined how he approached stepping up to the top job at the club after years as an assistant.

Kingston took charge at The Stoop following Conor O'Shea's departure to take over as head coach of Italy.

The former assistant was part of Harlequins coaching staff during their 2012 Premiership title win and 2011 Challenge Cup triumph. Harlequins finished last season in seventh place, ten points outside the play-offs.

"The mistake you can make is to look at something seamlessly. For me, there were adjustments that needed to be made, and I'm not frightened to say that," Kingston explained.

"I was part of the organisation before and we had some wonderful times, magnificent times. But adjustments needed to be made on and off the pitch and I had real clarity on that.

"That is what has kept me extremely busy over the course of pre-season.

Despite a shaky start with a narrow win over Bristol and away losses to Sale and Exeter Chiefs, last Saturday's win over defending champions Saracens was a highly impressive result, and one that Kingston hopes can help jump-start the club's season.

"I'm delighted with the way Saturday went for us, for the players as much as anything because confidence is a big thing," Kingston said.

"When you are trying to drive adjustments and tweaks, add-ons into what you are trying to do, into what you firmly believe is the right way forward, there is nothing better than achieving things to get the players driving forward again.

"Hopefully that can be a catalyst to take this forward."

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