Harlequins’ new director of rugby John Kingston is targeting silverware next season in what will be the club’s 150th anniversary and admits the pressure is on to achieve the success their supporters expect.
Quins won the Aviva Premiership in 2012 and the LV=Cup the following season but missed out on a top six spot in the last two campaigns. Kingston, who replaces Conor O’Shea as director of rugby ahead of this season, hopes the club can deliver some trophies in what is a hugely important year for the club.
“I think the added pressure lies in the fact we have not been where we want to be, and that tells you the standards we set because we reached the final of a European trophy [Challenge Cup] last year,” Kingston said. “What pressure is on us lies in looking to get into the business of winning trophies, we had a golden two or three years, it’s a little while ago now, we want to try and get back to that.
“The fact that it’s our 150th year, of course it would be lovely to win something but it would have been lovely to win a trophy in our 149th too.”
Kingston heads up a coaching team which includes ex-England scrum coach Graham Rowntree and the squad are already back in pre-season training, bar the contingent that played in the June internationals. With a number of new faces in the party, including Scotland fly-half Ruaridh Jackson, Kingston is taking an “overview” of what his priorities need to be ahead of the new campaign.
“It’s about me focusing in on the things I think are priorities,” he said. “We have got to make sure we get the recruitment right, the management of the players is right and that the management of the playing staff is right.
“I am looking and will be looking at challenging constructively various departments in various areas, including the coaching side. It’s about people getting used to me not being out on the field all the time, certainly not barking the instructions all the time, but taking a bigger overview of what’s required and what’s necessary.
“I’m just the figurehead and it’s a team thing, it’s a team effort that will get this great club to the places it wants to be.”
ESPN.com – RUGBY