Codling in line to replace Rowntree at Quins
HARLEQUINS have made a move for Alex Codling as Graham Rowntree’s replacement in a bid to revive their fortunes and transform the lowestranked lineout in the Premiership.
The Rugby Paper understands that a deal to take Codling to the Stoop has been completed with the level of compensation between Quins and his current club Ealing the only outstanding issue.
Codling was contracted to the ambitious Championship outfit until 2020 having signed a two-year extension in December last year. With DoR Ben Ward, the 44-year-old helped Trailfinders to a secondplace finish in the Championship as well as winning the B&I Cup.
Before joining Ealing two season ago, Codling had led a nomadic existence having enjoyed coaching spells at Rosslyn Park, Rotherham, London Scottish, Barking and Ebbw Vale.
This will be the once-capped England lock’s first venture into the top tier of club rugby as a coach.
“If the rumours are true, fair play to him,” said new London Irish lock Barney Maddison, who was coached by Codling at Rotherham and Ealing.
“He is being recognised for how well we did as a team last year. There was a big lineout and forward focus at Ealing, and a lot of boys have gone on to join Premiership squads this year, and he had a big influence on that.”
Quins endured a hugely disappointing campaign in 2017/18, finishing a lowly 10th with just seven wins.
A lineout success rate of just 85 per cent stymied their efforts and Codling’s reputation as a master tactician in this area made him a priority signing as Quins reshape their backroom setup under new general manager Billy Millard and incoming head of rugby Paul Gustard.
As well as the departures of Rowntree and DoR John Kingston, there are question marks over the futures of Collin Osborne and Nick Easter too.
Codling’s departure leaves Ealing with a big hole to fill and Dorian West and James Buckland are names in the frame.