18 May, 15:44
It's down to the wire now for the five contenders who have been shortlisted for the ultimate individual accolade in northern hemisphere rugby, ERC European Player of the Year 2013.
"One of the things we had identified from speaking to senior players, and to Carl Hayman before he left, was the fact that we needed to have some regular specialist front row coaching," said Tait.
"The system we had in place last season saw us use a coach from the RFU every couple of months on an ad-hoc basis, and it was that regular weekly feedback that the boys were missing."
"Micky has been working his way through the coaching badges for a few years now and has been coaching with Newcastle University as well as his local club side, so he's not completely new to that side of things.
"He will obviously still train as a player and be in consideration from that point of view, but this really is the beginning of the next chapter for Micky because I believe he has a huge amount to offer this club.
"He is fantastic with the other props here in terms of the advice he gives them. He's got the experience as a Premiership player himself and has a natural way about him with the way he gets his point across.
"Micky will lead the scrummaging sessions as well as giving feedback and analysis to the players, and he has the full support of myself and Paul Moriarty"
Ward has been helping with the coaching at Newcastle University and his local club side, Wallsend and has already completed his RFU Level 3 award.
"Coaching is something I'm passionate about and I'm delighted to be given this opportunity," admitted Ward.
"When Alan Tait and Paul Moriarty first approached me about the idea of taking on the front row sessions with the Falcons I knew it was something I wanted to take on, and hopefully the lads can get something out of the feedback I give them and the sessions we do on the scrummaging side.
"I'm anxious that my coaching duties don't affect my role as a player, to which I am still totally committed, and I will be training as usual with the rest of the squad. But I do realise that this is a huge opportunity for me, and I'm determined to make a success of it."