- Date of Birth18 Nov 1965
- BirthplaceOldham, England
Former Great Britain rugby league international Mike Ford joined the coaching team at Leicester Tigers in the closing months of the 2018/19 season, adding his experience behind the scenes as the club.
His lengthy coaching career includes spells in charge of Bath and Toulon, as defence coach with Ireland and England, and with the British & Irish Lions.
He has also worked in the USA and with the German national squad.
Born in Oldham, Mike was coached by Phil Larder at schools level and then played rugby league at scrum-half for Wigan, Leigh, Warrington, Wakefield Trinity and Bramley, in two spells with Oldham and Castleford, and in Australia with Sydney Roosers and South Queensland, winning 10 caps for Great Britain along the way.
He started in Wigan’s 14-8 victory over New Zealand in October 1985 and is a Castleford Hall of Fame inductee after playing in the Challenge Cup Final in 1992.
His three sons followed him into rugby, with eldest Joe playing for Sale, Leeds, Leicester and Northampton before starting his own coaching career; George gaining more than 50 caps for England and playing Premiership rugby with Leicester and Bath, and Jacob working as attack coach with Loughborough University.
Mike started his coaching career as player-coach with Bramley in 1999, moving to Oldham a year later while also working in the union code at Dukinfield.
He became defence coach with Ireland on Larder’s recommendation in 2002 before moving to Saracens as skills coach and then head coach in 2005.
Mike went to New Zealand with the British & Irish Lions in 2005, then became defence coach with England from 2006 and reaching a World Cup Final a year later.
He joined the staff at Bath and became head coach there in May 2013, taking them to a European Challenge Cup Final and Premiership Final, and was named as the league’s director of rugby of the year in 2015.
After leaving Bath at the end of the 2015/16 season, he moved to Toulon as head coach the following season but left before the end of the campaign.