Port Elizabeth - The Southern Kings have released a statement regarding the selection process of their new head coach.
There was an uproar on social media on Monday after a report claimed that former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers was overlooked for the position because he did not possess a Level 3 coaching certificate.
De Villiers hit back, with evidence, insisting that he did possess of the necessary qualifications.
Afrikaans newspaper Rapport wrote on Sunday that New Zealand's Steve Jackson, the current Samoa coach, was the only remaining candidate on the shortlist to replace Deon Davids as Kings coach.
Other candidates mentioned included Worcester Warriors coach Rory Duncan and Cheetahs forwards coach Corniel van Zyl.
Duncan is no longer wanted by the English club, but he has ruled himself out of contention for the Kings job, while Van Zyl reportedly does not have a Level 3 coaching certificate.
In a statement released on Tuesday, the Kings insisted that "only one of the candidates that were interviewed had the required qualifications".
The Kings, however, did not reveal who the candidates were.
The full Kings statement reads as follows:
The Southern Kings Board has noticed the widespread and largely inaccurate speculations in the media regarding the ongoing process of appointing a new Head Coach for the franchise.
We can confirm that proceedings continue to progress in an orderly, confidential and professional manner.
An interviewing panel was appointed to interview candidates for the Head Coach position and to make recommendations to the Southern Kings Board.
While the job advertisement for the vacant position called for a candidate with a World Rugby Level 3 qualification, as per minimum requirement for all elite coaches, and experience at the highest level, it was discovered that only one of the candidates that were interviewed had the required qualifications.
Notwithstanding the above, following the completion of the process of interviews, the interviewing panel ranked the candidates in terms of their technical capacity for the job.
We can confirm that the interviewing panel has sent their scores and rankings to the Chairman of the Board, Mr Loyiso Dotwana, who intends to present these recommendations at the next Board meeting before a final decision is made.
An official announcement will be made at the appropriate time once all contractual negotiations have been completed.
As previously stated, we continue to treat the entire process with strict confidentiality and sensitivity.