New EP Kings defence coach Omar Mouneimne has warned that a lot of hard work lies ahead of the team before the new season kicks off.
After much speculation, the Kings officially confirmed yesterday that the respected defence guru was back in Port Elizabeth for a second spell after returning from Edinburgh.
He has already begun training the Vodacom Cup squad alongside Vodacom Cup head coach Mzwandile Stick.
“It is wonderful to be back and to be part of the preparations for the Kings’ return to Super Rugby,” he said. “We achieved great things in the build-up to Super Rugby, going undefeated in the Currie Cup in 2012 and achieved so much during the Kings’ debut Super Rugby season and it is really a privilege to be back and to be able to contribute,” he said.
Mouneimne said there was plenty of preparation in store for the players ahead of the Vodacom Cup and Currie Cup season.
“We have a lot of hard work ahead of us, with a strong focus on improving our technical levels.
“We have a great group of players that need to work hard, stay humble and aim for excellence on the field,” he said.
Former Southern Kings physiotherapist James Fleming has also returned to the EP Kings structures as head of high performance. “I loved my previous experience being a part of the Kings structures and the lifestyle here in Nelson Mandela Bay.
“So, when the opportunity arose to come back and help build towards the Kings’ re-entry into Super Rugby, the lifestyle that Nelson Mandela Bay offered our young family was an important factor,” he said.
“It is really a great opportunity and I’m very excited to be back,” he said.
Fleming said his role would entail streamlining the interactions between the various departments under him to provide better support to both players and coaching staff.
After leaving the Kings in 2013, Fleming was based at the Sharks, where he fulfilled a coaching role which he feels has given him valuable experience that can add to his new position at the Kings.
“I learnt a lot from the Sharks and have a new understanding of what coaching staff require from the players, which has given me new insights that will be beneficial in this new role,” he said.
– George Byron