Newcastle prop Micky Ward sets sights on coaching role

Micky Ward
Ward made 274 appearances during his 12-year stint on Tyneside

Newcastle Falcons forward Micky Ward has said he wants to move into coaching at Kingston Park, as he prepares for his testimonial on Thursday.

The 32-year-old prop will bow out of professional rugby after the match, having combined playing duties with a part-time coaching role this season.

"I'm hoping to be on here still as a scrummage coach," the front-row veteran told BBC Newcastle.

"I've enjoyed my first year coaching. Next year I'll be full-time hopefully."

The Wallsend-born player, who operated at both loose-head and tight-head during his time at Kingston Park, has experienced the highs of Premiership and Powergen Cup success, along with the recent battles against relegation during more than a decade at the club.

"I joined the academy in 1997 and I got my first professional contract in 1999," said Ward.

"There have been so many influences, [former coach] Steve Black has been a big influence just because of his motivation.

"I've come across some great coaches in scrummaging - there was Andrew Blades and George Graham, to name just a couple."

Ward made 274 appearances, 179 as a starting player, for the Falcons and scored seven tries.