Newly appointed attack coach Alex King says Wales are determined to play an entertaining brand of rugby ahead of the 2023 Six Nations.
King joined Warren Gatland’s coaching staff ahead of the New Zealander’s second tenure in charge of Wales and says that they are eager to play the attacking brand which is rooted deep in the country’s DNA.
Hunger in the squad
The 47-year-old former England flyhalf has little time to get his messages and methods across to the players ahead of the opening Six Nations match against Ireland. Still, he is confident that he can do so to mark Gatland’s Wales return with a winning start.
“Gats got in touch with me a couple of weeks before Christmas, and it went from there,” said King.
“We’ve done a lot of preparation before coming into camp, and there’s a real hunger in the squad to put things right from the previous campaign.
“It’s about clear messaging because there’s some fantastic players in this squad and what we want is to be really positive what we do with the ball.
“We want to try and get everybody on the same page and use the players’ strengths.
“We want to play a brand of rugby that the (Principality) stadium will be proud of seeing – the DNA of Welsh rugby that I’ve grown up with and seen.
“Gats coming back into the fold brings a hard edge, a real work ethic, and that’s the bedrock of any successful team.
“You layer on your defence strategy and attack on top of that, but there has to be fundamentals we can hang our hat on going into the campaign.”
Experience with Wales and Gatland
Alex King is returning to the Wales set-up after serving as the attacking coach in 2017 under Rob Howley, who took control of the side while Galtand was on a 10-month sabbatical ahead of leading the British and Irish Lions in New Zealand.
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King commented on his previous experience with the side, saying: “I loved that time. You understand the passion of the game here and what it means to people.
“I’ve worked with Gats as a player at Wasps; I understand what his values are. It is a good fit.
“There is an opportunity to see the quality of the players here and the growth potential over the course of this two-month period, and then moving on later into the season.
“The team that plays against Ireland will be different to the team that plays against France. We’ll grow over the next two months; it’s exciting.”
Wales clash with Ireland in their opening Six Nations match of the year, and King has fond memories of the corresponding fixture back in 2017 when Howley’s side beat Ireland.
“It doesn’t get any better. I remember the Ireland game six years ago, the atmosphere was electric, and we got on the right side of the scoreboard,” King said.
“The Welsh public are crying out to be proud of a performance, and hopefully, we’ll deliver.”