Kempson given new top role at Southern Kings

Isuzu Southern Kings chair Loyiso Dotwana and Robbi Kempson, who has been appointed high performance director
Isuzu Southern Kings chair Loyiso Dotwana and Robbi Kempson, who has been appointed high performance director
Image: George Byron

In its first big move since taking control of the Isuzu Southern Kings, the business consortium has appointed former Springbok prop Robbi Kempson as high performance director.

The decision was announced when the new owners, The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World (GRC), held a briefing entitled “The Way Forward” at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Thursday.

This is a new role for the franchise and Kempson’s primary responsibilities will include the recruitment of quality playing personnel, overseeing the coaching structures and establishing a high performance rugby academy.

“Robbi Kempson is a widely respected professional in rugby circles and is known for his extensive knowledge of the game, having played rugby at the highest level, and for his immense role in the nurturing of young talent from this province,” consortium chair Loyiso Dotwana said.

He said one of the key objectives of the franchise was to improve on-field results from the 2019/2020 Guinness PRO14 season. “While the Kings have shown a gradual improvement in the current season versus the inaugural 2017/18 season, we want to ensure that we win at least half of the fixtures from the next season,” Dotwana said.

“We expect next season to be very different.

“Just like in business, we are also ambitious with the results that we expect on the field,” he said.

“The groundwork to ensure we achieve our targets is already under way.

“We will be doing everything possible to source the best possible talent to strengthen the core base of the team.

“This will be balanced up with high-potential local talent players within the current team and also other emerging players.”

Dotwana said Deon Davids would remain as head coach, with his contract set to run until May 2020.

The new Kings board is: Dotwana (GRC, chair), Rory Stear (GRC, deputy chairman), Kenny Govender (GRC), Gary Markson (GRC), Bantwini Matika (EP Rugby Union), Shaheed Patel (EP Rugby Union), Michael Sacke (Isuzu Motors South Africa, independent director), Gugu Nxiweni (Improvate Group) independent director, Andre Rademan (EP Rugby Union) - standing invitation to attend meetings.