Bok coach visits for Kings talk

New Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus
Picture: Alon Skuy

Erasmus meets Davids for discussions on way forward for struggling Bay side

New Springbok coach Rassie Erasmus has met Southern Kings head coach Deon Davids for talks on how to take the struggling Port Elizabeth side forward. The Kings are an SA Rugby Union project and it is known that Davids wants dynamic action to improve his team.

“The Kings were very happy to have Rassie here after he was named Bok coach,” Davids said.

“We had a very thorough discussion, but I don’t want to go ahead in terms of what happened.

“Now we can become more pro-active and dynamic in taking this thing forward.

“I know there are a lot of challenges and I know Rassie will be very busy.

“It was a good step in the right direction and it was a good moment to have him among us so the players understand that PRO14 is very close to test rugby,” Davids said.

Erasmus is familiar with conditions in Europe, and led Munster to the final of the old PRO12 last year.

The Kings have won only one of their opening 17 PRO14 matches, and it is clear that their player roster will have to be boosted for next season.

With only four games left this season, Davids knows that it will be vital to start contracting new signings as soon as possible.

“At this point in time I am a bit jumpy because of certain stuff that happens too slowly for me. You only have a certain period to contract,” he said.

“We have identified and done a full analysis of our own squad to find where our strengths and weaknesses are and the things that we need to work on. “The next step, unfortunately, is out of my hands. “I am hoping that something happens as soon as possible.

“It is an SA Rugby project, so we need to get some movement in terms of where we are going and how quickly we can do that. “I know there are talks around that.” Though Davids did not reveal the exact nature of his talks with Erasmus, it may have hinged on establishing a player roster within SA Rugby.

Franchises with a surplus of players in a certain position may be persuaded to loan them to the Kings.

Those players would benefit by getting valuable game time in overseas conditions.

With the Kings guaranteed at least another two years in PRO14, long-term solutions need to be found to lift the team off the bottom of the log.

EP Rugby president Andre Rademan has promised that new recruits will revitalise the ailing Kings when they kick off their second season in September,

Last month, Rademan met Davids and Kings chief operating officer Charl Crous to discuss future plans.

“The chat with Deon and Charl went very well,” Rademan said.

“There is lots of common ground that we agree on.

“The PRO14 is a tough competition, much stiffer than the public realise.

“When we play our second season we will be a different and more competitive team.”

With four matches left in the competition, the Kings will be hoping the Dragons win sparks a late season revival.

The Kings’ remaining games are against Benetton Treviso (March 24), Munster (April 7), Cardiff Blues (April 14) and the Cheetahs (April 27).

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