Kempson to coach EP Kings

Robbie Kempson has been confirmed as the Currie Cup coach for the EP Kings.

Kempson, who is the Kings academy manager, said he was looking forward to supplementing his coaching role with an expanded Currie Cup kicking off in April.

'There has been a lot of hard work put in over the past five years since the academy was established to identify and develop talented players from the region and to keep them here. The purpose of creating a career pathway for these players within the province, where they are given exposure through the junior competitions before going into Currie Cup, and then potentially into Super Rugby and on to represent South Africa, cannot simply fall away due to the current challenges being faced.'

EP rugby has been beset by financial problems for more than six months, but a provisional Currie Cup squad has been holding regular training and conditioning sessions at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Chief operating officer Debbie Ellis said that preparations were well underway to field a competitive team for the competition.

'Due to the current situation, and having lost a number of senior players, our focus has been on retaining the up and coming talent that the Kings academy has been developing. A number of the players currently training with the team are academy players, as well as members of last year’s U19 and U21 Currie Cup squad, who have come through the local school structures and are the future stars of the region.'

Ellis said the union was also currently engaging with the Southern Kings Super Rugby franchise to look at securing some of their non-playing squad members to bolster the Currie Cup squad.

The provisional Currie Cup squad will be announced later this month, while the rest of the coaching team will be confirmed next week. The EP Kings begin their Currie Cup campaign against the SWD Eagles on 8 April.

Photo: Steve Haag/Gallo Images

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