John Kingston set to depart Aviva Premiership side Harlequins

Harlequins director of rugby John Kingston saw his side thumped by relegation candidates London Irish. Charlie Crowhurst/Getty Images

Director of rugby John Kingston will leave Aviva Premiership club Harlequins at the end of the season.

Quins said that Kingston, who was promoted from head coach two years ago, will depart the Twickenham Stoop by mutual agreement.

Quins are currently ninth in the Premiership and were beaten 35-5 at home by bottom club London Irish two days ago.

In a club statement posted on Quins' official website, Kingston said: "It is with a very heavy heart that I will be leaving Harlequins at the end of this season.

"I have been at Harlequins for 17 years in differing roles and have grown to love the club almost as if it were part of my family.

"The obstacles this season have been well-documented, and no one has been more disappointed by our results than me.

"In my opinion, this is the strongest squad ever assembled in all my time at Harlequins, and this leaves the club in a sound position to go forward.

"Nothing would give me more pleasure than to see the squad achieve in the near future what I deeply believe it can -- winning trophies."

Quins have won just seven of their 19 league games this season, while they made a pool-stage exit from the European Champions Cup, finishing last in a group that also included Wasps, Ulster and La Rochelle.

Quins chief executive Dave Ellis said: "This season has been hugely frustrating and disappointing for everyone at Harlequins, and for none more so than John. With considerable regret, we have agreed that John should step down as director of rugby.

"John has much to be proud of during his time at The Stoop, most notably when, while head coach, the team won the Aviva Premiership, the Amlin Challenge Cup and the LV= Cup, as well as reaching two Heineken Cup quarter-finals.

"The club will not make any comment about the appointment of a new director of rugby until we are ready to do so. The process to recruit someone new who can take Harlequins to the very top of English and European rugby is in hand."