Harlequins have announced the appointment of Conor O'Shea as their new director of rugby.
O'Shea, currently national director at the English Institute of Sport, will fill the vacancy created by Dean Richards' resignation earlier this year.
Former England number eight Richards quit following his role in the 'Bloodgate' fake injury scandal that subsequently saw him land a three-year worldwide coaching ban.
O'Shea, 39, won 35 caps for Ireland and previously held senior playing and coaching roles with Quins' Guinness Premiership rivals London Irish.
He was also the Rugby Football Union's national academy director before moving to the EIS.
Ian McGeechan, British and Irish Lions head coach in South Africa earlier this year, former Scotland chief Frank Hadden and current Quins defence coach Tony Diprose were all linked with the Quins post.
O'Shea slipped under most pundits' radar, although it is understood he will not start work in his new role until March.
He made more than 120 first-team appearances as a London Irish player before moving into coaching after a knee injury forced his premature retirement.
Quins are facing an early exit from this season's Heineken Cup, having lost their first three pool games, but their Premiership form is better and they currently lie five points off a top-four place.
John Kingston, who recently agreed a new contract as head coach, took charge of team affairs following Richards' departure and will remain a critical part of Quins' coaching structure.
O'Shea said: "I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at the EIS, and it is a shame that I will be moving on at such an exciting and challenging time for the organisation and for sport in this country.
"But plain and simply, my passion lies with rugby and my desire to influence at the sharp end of the game has never diminished.
"So when approached by Harlequins, a club with an exciting squad, a committed and talented group of coaches and support staff and a stable business model to underpin long-term success, I knew it was a challenge I had to take on,"
With Kingston in charge, Quins have recovered steadily from the 'Bloodgate' saga.
Apart from Richards' suspension, there were also bans for ex-Quins physiotherapist Stephen Brennan and current wing Tom Williams, who returned to playing action last month.
The club additionally landed a sizeable fine imposed by European Rugby Cup Limited, although they avoided expulsion from this season's Heineken Cup, a punishment many people had thought likely.