Chris Robshaw insists Harlequins’ players must share the blame for John Kingston’s looming departure after struggling to “look in the mirror” in the wake of Saturday’s rout by London Irish.
Kingston has revealed that it was decided to end his two-year Twickenham Stoop reign in advance of the 35-5 home drubbing by relegation-destined Irish, the lowest point of a dismal season that sees the club languishing in ninth place with three rounds remaining.
The same board that awarded Kingston a contract extension in January has drawn up a long list of possible successors and expects to make an appointment by the end of next month with senior players to be consulted during the process.
“It’s unfair for everything to be pointed at John this season. As players, me included, we have not been good enough”, England flanker Robshaw said.
“From the top guy to the bottom guy, we have not produced. Unfortunately, him being the top man, he has taken the stick for that.
“It is not a one-man thing. This season is down to the whole collective. In the off season we will have to make sure it does not happen again.
“When you have lost to a fellow London team who are bottom of the table, by a bonus-point and barely scored a try, and are booed off your own pitch, it hurts. You can accept losing but it was the manner in which we did.
“It’s tough to look in the mirror. It is not just down to John — as a collective we have not been good enough this year, it is as simple as that.
“It’s unfortunate that the news came about John. Now it’s about going out in the next three games and trying to give him a good send-off.
“We will have a few drinks with him towards the end of the season. We can’t get up and make the top six or top four, but now it is about pride and trying to play well for him.”