Southern Kings

Davids to coach Southern Kings in Super Rugby

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The South African Rugby Union have announced that SWD Academy coach Deon Davids
will coach the Southern Kings in the 2016 Super Rugby tournament.

Davids was named as head coach of a planned 42-player squad, of which around
one half are expected to come from the existing Eastern Province Kings squad.

The Southern Kings team will be augmented by consultant coaches from the Saru
mobi-unit while the financial affairs will be handled by the Saru Chief Financial
Officer, Basil Haddad.

Match-day eventing at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium will be handled by stadium
operators, Access Management.

“I’d like to start by thanking the players and staff of the Kings,
as well as the people of the Eastern Cape for their patience while we have been
working as hard as we can to put a workable plan into place,” Saru CEO
Jurie Roux said in a statement.

“We are unable to go into all the player details right now as we still
have to confirm some contracts and tie up loan arrangements but, considering
when we started and from what base, I am very pleased with where we have come.

“I believe we are putting together a more than competent squad that will
not only be representative of the region but coincidentally meets the targets
of our Strategic Transformation Plan four years ahead of schedule.

“The squad we have identified will have around 50 percent black players
while the management team is more than 50 percent black. Our Rugby Department
has picked the best available talent.”

Saru has worked with the South African Rugby Players’ Association (SARPA)
in communicating the plans and expectations with the Kings players.

Roux said that the players and management would be paid next week although
the position of players not contracted to the Southern Kings by Saru remained
a question to be resolved by the EPRU.

Davids, will be assisted by Mzwandile Stick (backs coach), Barend Pieterse
(forwards coach) and Nadus Niewoudt (conditioning coach) while Zingi Hela –
the manager of the Border Academy – had been appointed team manager.

The medical team is Dr Konrad von Hagen and physiotherapist, Kim Naidoo.

Roux said: “It is a slimmed down coaching team but it will be ably supported
by the expertise we have in our mobi-unit and other SARU resources to give them
every chance of flying the Kings’ flag with pride.

“Next week will be spent on medical, administration and logistical planning
before the players break up and work on individualised fitness programmes before
returning on 4 January. We have already earmarked some warm-up matches against
local opposition in January so we believe that on-field affairs are well in
hand.”

Roux said that he hoped to confirm two new sponsorships in the New Year that
would assist in funding the new-look Southern Kings.

Cheeky Watson, president of the EPRU, said: “We would like to thank Saru
for their assistance in this regard and can’t wait to work with them on
this exciting venture. We’re fully committed to assisting Saru in making
a success of the Southern Kings in Super Rugby next year.”

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