Newcastle Falcons appoint Alex Codling as head coach

Tuesday 11 April 2023 Written by: Adam

The vastly-experienced Londoner is currently forwards coach at runaway leaders Oyonnax in France’s Pro D2, with the 49-year-old’s previous roles including forwards coach at Harlequins, head coach at Ealing Trailfinders and assistant coach to the English national team for their 2021 June internationals.

Relishing the opportunity to take charge at Kingston Park when he arrives for pre-season, Codling said: “I am very excited to be able to make a contribution to the next chapter in Newcastle Falcons’ history.

“There’s lot of exciting talent in the squad, and our job as a coaching staff is to help the players in every way we can to continue to develop and give them real clarity on how we want to play.”

Having had a successful playing career at the top level including playing for the likes of Harlequins, Saracens and Montpellier, Codling won his England cap against Argentina in 2002 before embarking on his coaching journey.

Giving an insight into the qualities he hopes to develop with Newcastle Falcons, he said: “First and foremost with any team it’s founded on hard work and team spirit.

“I watched Newcastle’s last game against Gloucester a couple of weeks ago on TV, in which they claimed a victory despite playing with 14 men for more than an hour. The way they fought against adversity was incredible and the atmosphere at the ground that night looked fantastic. I have seen first-hand as both a player and coach the huge passion the supporters have for the club, and the difference they can make.”

Codling’s Oyonnax are top of France’s Pro D2 table and had already qualified for a home semi-final with four games to go, with the incoming Falcons boss insisting he has benefited from the experience of working across the Channel.

“As a coach it is about testing yourself in different environments and constantly looking at ways in which you can improve every day,” he said.

“I will take a lot from my time working in France and I can’t wait to start working with the Falcons’ staff and players, but in the meantime I want to continue to do everything I can to help Oyonnax achieve their dream as the season draws to an exciting conclusion with a home semi-final on the horizon.”

Speaking on Codling’s appointment, chairman of rugby Matt Thompson said: “We’re delighted to welcome Alex to the Falcons family.

“We’re going through a significant period of change here at Kingston Park, and we’re very excited about the future of the club and what we can all achieve together.

“We want to play an exciting brand of rugby on the pitch and continue to create a platform for rugby talent in the North of England.

“We continue to have some amazing support from our fans, our sponsors and all of our employees, and we’re incredibly grateful for that. We’re looking forward to what comes next.”