Wales head coach Rob Howley has welcomed the appointment of Alex King to his backroom staff for the 2017 Six Nations.
King, the former Northampton Saints and Clermont Auvergne coach who was a playing contemporary of Howley’s at London Wasps, joins Wales as attack coach for the duration of the Championship campaign.
King completes Howley’s coaching team for the 2017 tournament with incumbents Robin McBryde (forwards), Shaun Edwards (defence) and Neil Jenkins (skills) already in place.
“We are really pleased to bring in Alex for the Six Nations, but we would also like to thank Matt for all his hard work and effort during the autumn,” said Howley.
“Alex is an experienced, highly-respected attack coach and we are delighted to have him as part of our team. We believe he will add a lot of value to what will be another very competitive Six Nations and we are delighted to have secured the services of such a sought after coach on a full time basis for the campaign.
“Matt was excellent for us during the autumn campaign and we were really pleased with his contribution. Moving forward, Matt felt the shared role wouldn’t be the best solution, which we respect, and we wish him well back at the Blues.”
Alex King said: “This is a hugely exciting opportunity for me personally and, to be able to join such an experienced and established coaching set up ahead of such a major and important tournament, is an incredibly exciting prospect. It is a real privilege to be asked and I am now really looking forward to meeting up with the coaches, the rest of the management team and particularly the talented Welsh players.”
The 41-year-old King helped Saints lift the Premiership title in 2014 as attack coach, but left the East midlands club earlier this year and is set to take up a position at Montpellier next season. Those circumstances have allowed him to be re-united with Howley – with whom he formed a successful half-back playing partnership at Wasps over a decade ago, winning the Zurich Premiership and Heineken Cup double in 2004.