Kings abort plans to find new coach amid De Villiers confusion

Peter de Villiers (File)
Peter de Villiers (File)

Cape Town - Rob Kempson will serve as the interim head coach of the Southern Kings until they find a full-time replacement for Deon Davids.

This was confirmed on Friday following a week of confusion that centred around one of the shortlisted coaches, Peter de Villiers.

The process of appointing a new coach, the union confirmed, has been aborted. 

The Kings had said that only one of the shortlisted candidates for the post held a World Rugby Level 3 qualification, which led to reports that former Springbok coach De Villiers had been ruled out of contention.

De Villiers then took to social media to post his coaching credentials in the form of a Wales Level 3 certificate from 1996. 

World Rugby acknowledges the Wales Level 3 qualification as an equivalent. 

On Wednesday, the Kings confirmed that De Villiers was still in the running for the position and that he was one of three candidates left. 

Then, on Friday, chairperson Loyiso Dotwana released a statement confirming that until the position was filled, Director of Rugby Kempson would serve as head coach.

"The events of the past few days have convinced the Greatest Rugby Company, the majority shareholder in the Southern Kings, to accept the initial recommendation of the interviewing panel to abort the process of selecting a new head coach," the statement read.

"The panel reported that they felt the process was undermined around the confusion of the World Rugby Level 3 certification. In addition, the persistent media leaks have further undermined the integrity of the process.

"In the interim, Robbi Kempson, will act as interim head coach until the position is filled.

"The GRC wishes to thank the candidates who showed interest in the position as well as the interviewing panel for their commitment and diligence."

The Southern Kings will begin their PRO14 2019/20 season in late September.

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