Wales: Warren Gatland brings Alex King and Mike Forshaw into the backroom team

Colin Newboult

Wales have added to their coaching team ahead of the 2023 Six Nations after appointing Alex King and Mike Forshaw.

King returns as attack coach having done the role during the 2017 tournament, while rugby league great Forshaw joins from Sale Sharks.

Plenty of experience

“I’m delighted that Alex and Mike are joining the Wales coaching team,” head coach Warren Gatland said.

“They both have plenty of experience as players and coaches, which will be hugely important to the development of the squad through the Six Nations and beyond. I’d like to thank Sale Sharks for their cooperation in the process and allowing Mike to take up this position with Wales.

“We have less than a month to our first Six Nations match against the number one side in the world which, as I’ve said before, is a great challenge to have first up and one that we are very excited about as a coaching group.

“Having our first match this championship at home will be very special and I’m really looking forward to getting back out at Principality Stadium in front of the best fans in rugby.”

King, who is 47, played the majority of his career at Wasps before finishing up at Clermont Auvergne and transitioning into coaching.

He then joined Northampton Saints in 2013 and helped them to the Premiership title before spells at Montpellier and most latterly Gloucester.

“I am immensely proud to be part of the Wales coaching team again,” King said.

“I thoroughly enjoyed my previous time working with the squad. There are some talented players in Wales, so I am really excited by this new opportunity and can’t wait to get stuck in.”

Wales’ defence will be led by Forshaw, who moves from Sale, where he has been since 2013, and replaces Gethin Jenkins in the role.

The Sharks have often had a stout rearguard under the guidance of the ex-Wigan and Bradford Bulls player and have conceded the fewest tries in the Premiership this season.

Talented squad

Forshaw said: “I’m really looking forward to the challenge ahead. I can’t wait to meet the players and start working with a really talented squad.

“I played in Cardiff in 2003 and it’s an incredible place to play rugby. I want to get these lads defending with real energy and I want them to be excited about their defensive work.

“If we can do that then I really think we can take some big steps as a team and achieve something special, because the talent is there.

“I had never met Warren before but he’s obviously one of the game’s great coaches. I spoke to him on the phone and I can’t wait to start working with him and getting to know him personally too.

“This is probably one of the only jobs that I would have left Sale for but I know that I’m leaving a club that’s going in the right direction. It’s a really special club and I’m excited to see what this group can achieve this season and beyond.”

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