Five coaches have been appointed to draw up the Southern Kings’ battle plans and ensure the side are ready to hit the ground running in Super Rugby next year.
Head coach Deon Davids will be able to call on specialists in various departments as the Kings prepare for their opening game against the Jaguares in Port Elizabeth on February 25.
A new face on the Kings’ coaching panel is that of David Williams, who has been appointed as attack and skills coach.
Williams also brings a wealth of experience to Port Elizabeth, having previously worked as assistant coach with the Kobelco Steelers in Japan, academy coach at Bath in England, coaching consultant at SACS in Cape Town, and coaching coordinator and academy coach at London Irish in England.
In another move, Vuyo Zangqa will take over as the Kings backline coach from Mzwandile Stick, who has been promoted to the Springboks.
Zangqa was the EP Kings backline coach in the Currie Cup Premier Division and he will welcome this chance to shine on the international stage.
Barend Pieterse will continue as the Kings forwards coach and Henning van der Merwe is the kicking coach.
“I will have time to work on defence and strategy and how the different departments develop,” Davids said.
“Dave Williams was involved with the EP Kings U19 side and EP Academy and has coached overseas with different English Premiership teams.”
“He comes with a lot of experience and he has already added a lot of value in terms of skills development and what he wants to do with each in dividual in the squad.”
“We are excited to be working with him. Last year, I had a lot on my plate and this gives us time to streamline things and get more focused on certain areas,” Davids said.
Three warm-up matches and a training camp in East London have been arranged ahead of the new season.
Davids said everything possible would done to ensure the Kings were battle ready for their first game.
“We will have a training camp in East London and then we will play Border there. “Our second game will be against the Stormers in Cape Town and our last game will be here in Port Elizabeth just before the opening Super Rugby game,” Davids said.
At this stage, dates and kickoff times have not been finalised.
“I can say the Border game will be at the end of January and the Stormers and Eagles at the start of February.”
Davids said the Kings would continue with their preparations until December 22.
They will then break for the festive season and return to training on January 9.