Saints add Alex King to coaching team
January 4, 2013
Alex King has joined Northampton and will focus on their backs © Getty Images
Northampton Saints have turned to Clermont Auvergne's Alex King as their new assistant coach.
King will link up with the Saints at the start of next season and will replace Paul Grayson in Jim Mallinder's backroom staff. Grayson left the Saints in November and King is likely to step into his shoes and take charge of their backs.
King arrives at the Saints from Top 14 giants Clermont and he played a key role in helping guide the team to their maiden title in 2010. He has 170 Premiership appearances to his name from his time at Wasps and also five caps for England.
And King is relishing the chance to join Mallinder's team and to bring everything he has learnt from France to the Saints. "In Jim Mallinder the Saints have a director of rugby that I respect greatly and a good, young team with plenty of talented English players," King said. "The club also has a great support base and I hope that I'll be able to help bring success to Franklin's Gardens.
"I've had an amazing six years in France as a player and a coach. I always wanted to play in France and immerse myself in a different culture. I have done that and learned a great deal by working with great coaches like Vern Cotter, Joe Schmidt and Franck Azema. I feel that I am more knowledgeable about the sport and hopefully I can bring that to Northampton.
"I'm certainly looking forward to working with Jim, Dorian West and the other coaches at the Saints and believe that it is the right fit for me professionally and personally. It's the right time for me to come home to England and to a club like the Saints, which has a very bright future under Jim's leadership."
Mallinder picked out King after the club were "inundated with applications from coaches" who were keen to replace Grayson and he is looking forward to working with the ex-Wasps back. Mallinder said: "As a player he was part of an excellent London Wasps team, and as a coach he has helped Clermont Auvergne become one of the top clubs in Europe.
"He has built up a considerable amount of experience in a short space of time and is a coach who has some exciting ideas. I'm looking forward to Alex joining us in the summer and establishing himself at Franklin's Gardens."
The Saints have also confirmed that Alan Dickens, who stepped into Grayson's role on a temporary basis, will stay at the club in a combined role as academy manager and also within the first team coaching set-up.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
The rolling maul is becoming an increasingly potent attacking weapon. Conor O'Shea looks at the difficulties of stopping it
The news of James Horwill, Adam Ashley-Cooper and Dan Carter's respective transfers will open the floodgates, writes Tom Hamilton
Kiwi coaches can be found far and wide across the globe, and Murray Mexted believes the All Blacks benefit every bit as much as their rivals
Clermont, Toulon, player burnout, Sam Burgess and a farewell to Adams Park - Monday Maul looks back at the weekend's action