Paul Gustard backs England to win World Cup under Eddie Jones

Paul Gustard was unveiled as the new head of rugby at Harlequins on Monday. Steve Bardens/Getty Images for Harlequins

Paul Gustard has backed England to win the 2019 World Cup despite leaving Eddie Jones' set-up to to become Harlequins' new head of rugby.

Defence specialist Gustard will leave England's Test ranks after June's three-Test tour of South Africa, with head coach Jones now seeking a replacement.

The former Saracens coach will replace ex-rugby director John Kingston, with Quins now seeking a general manager to take charge of off-field affairs.

Gustard has backed England to keep progressing with minimal fuss however, insisting that Jones' men will still win the World Cup in Japan.

"There's always change with England and it's another opportunity for the team to grow," said Gustard.

"It's brilliant for me, for the opportunity that I've got.

"And I fully believe the team will continue to kick on and improve, and that on November 2, 2019 we'll lift the World Cup."

Gustard, 42, has revealed he was talking informally about extending his Rugby Football Union (RFU) contract when Quins made contact.

And so instead of further extending a deal that was set to run until the end of the World Cup, Gustard will now leave his England post and start work at Quins on July 1.

"The opportunity was just too good to turn down," said Gustard.

"It wasn't a job that I went out to seek, it wasn't a job that I was coveting.

"I was very happy in my role and was currently in negotiations with the RFU about extending my contract.

"And then an informal conversation led to where I am today. And I'm unbelievably excited about the opportunity to represent Harlequins.

"Whenever you make a decision you're always weighing up a lot of things.

"For me it came down to my career, my choice, my ambition to be a head coach.

"I believe I've been developing a skill set over the last 10 to 12 years that has put me in good stead.

"It's a difficult thing to walk away from your country, of course it is, but the opportunity to do this was just too good to turn down."

Gustard left Saracens to join the England set-up in January 2016, helping boss Jones' side to a record-equalling 18 successive Test wins.

England lifted the Six Nations title in both 2016 and 2017, but slipped to a fifth-place finish this year.