Deon Davids will lead the Southern Kings into unchartered territory as the Port Elizabeth-based side prepares to get their GUINNESS PRO14 campaign up and running on Saturday, September 2.
Southern Kings Chief Operations Officer Charl Crous officially announced Deon Davids’ appointment as head coach of the side for the next three years. “We are pleased to have retained the services of Deon Davids as head coach for the next three years of our participation in the GUINNESS PRO14 Championship,” announced Crous.
“Deon has proven himself as a quality coach during his tenure as head coach of the Vodacom Super Rugby competition, which he led with great success.
“It was important for us after joining a premier competition like the GUINNESS PRO14 that we have continuity in our management team to ensure we continue to produce the high standard rugby that we have set ourselves.”
Davids first took up the coaching reins at the Southern Kings in 2016 before leading the team to their best finish in 2017 in the Vodacom Super Rugby competition after claiming a historic six victories. The 49-year-old mentor has gained a reputation of having a fine eye for talent and providing a platform for players to launch their careers.
The Southern Kings head coach is looking forward to steering the ship and has already put together a competitive squad that will take part in the PRO14. “I’m happy to be with the Southern Kings now for the next three years,” said Davids.
“We’ll be starting this process of putting together a squad all over again. We lost a number of our squad from the Super Rugby campaign, and we are busy putting together a new, competitive squad.
“We have identified a large group of players and we have communicated, through our office, to the different unions regarding the players we would like to be here. The players that have joined us already are the ones that have been released from their duties at those unions. There are some players whom we are still awaiting the response of their various unions to release them as soon as possible..”
The Southern Kings squad started to gather at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium this week to begin preparations for the opening match against GUINNESS PRO14 defending champions, the Scarlets.
Davids has stressed the importance of long-term signings for the Southern Kings in order to maintain continuity, adding: “Most of the guys that we have signed now we tried to get for two years so that we do not sit in the same position again – where we will have to scramble for players, and also because Super Rugby is still ongoing while we will be in our off-season preparing for the start of the next season.
“We would have loved to wait for more players coming off-contract at the end of October, but we would have played eight games up until then, so we will have to prepare sufficiently now to ensure that we have a squad that has depth. I’ll be starting on a clean slate. If a player puts up his hand, I’ll back him.”
All of the Southern Kings players are being medically screened this week as part of the contracting process. The list of these squad members is:
SOUTHERN KINGS Squad: Berton Klaasen, Bobby de Wee, CJ Velleman, Cornal Hendricks, Dries van Schalkwyk, Jacques Nel, Jarryd Sage, Khaya Majola, Lubabalo Mtyanda (pictured above), Lusanda Badiyana, Masixole Banda, Ntabeni Dukisa, Oliver Zono, Pieter-Steyn de Wet, Rowan Gouws, Sbusiso Sithole, Schalk Ferreira, Stephan Greeff, Tango Balekile, Tienie Burger, Victor Sekekete, Yaw Penxe, Kurt Coleman.