James Horwill: John Kingston's exit at Harlequins doesn't sit well with players

James Horwill insists the pending departure of John Kingston has not sat well with the players. Steve Bardens/Getty Images/Harlequins

James Horwill has called for Harlequins to use the remaining three games of the regular Aviva Premiership season to begin rebuilding reputations.

Quins sit ninth in the table with a chastening 35-5 home rout by London Irish last Saturday bringing with it the news that director of rugby John Kingston is to step down at the end of the season, despite having signed a contract extension in January.

A trip to Gloucester offers the chance to begin clawing back some pride, and Horwill, the club captain who returns to the starting XV after recovering from a neck injury, accepts that the players owe Kingston an upbeat send-off.

"There is no doubt that performances have not been up where we needed them to be. We as a squad admit that," former Australia skipper Horwill said.

"John is a top bloke who genuinely loves the club, giving 17 years of service to this place. What has happened doesn't sit well with us.

"Now we have to put in performances that both he and we can be proud of, that our fans can be proud of, and to finish off John's time at the club on the right foot. We have a month of the season left and need to get some pride back into the shirt."