Wales Rugby has been scrambling of late to install a solid coaching roster ahead of the Six Nations, as Warren Gatland continues his year long secondment to the British and Irish Lions.
Gatland’s assistant Rob Howley has stepped up to fill the vacated head coaching role, as a he did last time around when Gatland oversaw the Lions’ series victory over Australia.
As Howley seeks to guide Wales through the highly anticipated Six Nations championship, he has reached out and recruited former Wasps team-mate Alex King for the job of attack coach, the role Howley himself vacated to take over from Gatland.
King, formerly part of the coaching staff at Northampton Saints and soon to be coach at Montpellier, brings a wealth of experience and will look to help Howley over the coming months to ensure that Wales maintain their fifth place in the rugby world rankings.
According to the Telegraph, Matt Sherratt, who deputised for Howley during the Autumn Series, is set to return to the Cardiff Blues and so Howley reached out to King to shore up the much changed coaching ticket ahead of their first Six Nation contest with Italy on February 5th.
Of his appointment as attack coach, King admitted,
“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.”
As for Howley, he had this to say about his former team-mate,
“We are really pleased to bring in Alex for the Six Nations.
“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.”
Wales endured a somewhat mediocre Autumn test series, with a bruising defeat to Australia, followed by two close contests with Argentina and Japan, before salvaging their series with a victory over the floundering Springboks.
Wales rugby fans will be hoping that the much changed coaching ticket will gel quickly and guide Wales to a strong championship in the spring. With their World Cup ranking at stake, Howley and co will have more than a Six Nations title to fight for.
Wales Rugby now has a full coaching roster ahead of the championship, including, in addition to Howley and King, Robin McBryde (forwards), Neil Jenkins (skills) and, another Wasps contemporary, Shaun Edwards (defence).
Fans will be hoping this will be enough.
Gary Brennan, Pundit Arena
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