Harlequins name Jason Gilmore as new defence coach to replace Jerry Flannery

Hired: Jason Gilmore will now be tasked with marshalling Harlequins’ defence from next season (Getty Images)
Hired: Jason Gilmore will now be tasked with marshalling Harlequins’ defence from next season (Getty Images)

Harlequins have installed former Australia A head coach Jason Gilmore as their new defence specialist.

The highly-regarded Australian becomes the long-term replacement for Jerry Flannery, who left Quins in the middle of last season to join South Africa.

Former Quins centre Jordan Turner-Hall had filled the role for the second half of the season, where the west Londoners finished sixth in the Premiership, narrowly missing out on the play-offs.

But now former Waratahs coach Gilmore will take up the defence role permanently at The Stoop, as plans take shape for next season.

“James is someone we have been really impressed with,” said Quins rugby director Billy Millard.

“He’s a hard-nosed defence coach who brings a wealth of experience and expertise to our coaching programme.

“We know he’ll adapt quickly to our environment and we’re confident he’ll bring significant improvements to our game.”

Former Glasgow boss Danny Wilson came to The Stoop last summer with the express remit of adding a ruthless edge to Quins’ famed all-out attacking policy.

Wilson has been praised in west London for adding focus, bite and structure to Quins’ attack, and now Gilmore’s arrival represents the next step of the Premiership club’s wider development.

Sharpen the defence again, and Quins will hope and expect to be competing for top honours next season.

Gilmore led Australia’s Under-20s to a second-place finish at the 2019 Junior World Championships.

As Australia A boss, he led the Wallabies’ second XV to victory in the Challenger Series and second place in the Pacific Nations Cup.

“I am excited to be joining Harlequins and thank the club for the opportunity,” said Gilmore.

“I understand the expectation and accountability of performance. I’m looking forward to working with the staff and playing group to continue to build a defensive identity at the club.”