Kings coach quits

Brent Janse van Rensburg will be leaving the Kings amid the ongoing financial crisis at the union. CRAIG LEWIS reports.

In November, Kings president Cheeky Watson confirmed that Janse van Rensburg would take charge of the team upon their re-entry to Vodacom Super Rugby next year.

However, has learned that Janse van Rensburg will be leaving his post, with unpaid salaries stretching back for at least two months. It’s believed Janse van Rensburg will be taking up a coaching role at Boland.

Assistant coach Carlos Spencer left EP earlier this year when the union’s financial woes were first coming to light, while as many as seven players have left the Kings recently.

Saru has stepped in to take control of the Kings’ Super Rugby franchise, with its coaching mobi-unit team planning to assist and support the Kings' coaching group. With less than three months to go until the Kings kick off their Super Rugby campaign against the Sharks on 27 February, a new head coach will now need to be found.

Kings players have also begun to speak out about the cash crisis at the union, with scrumhalf Kevin Luiters writing an emotional post on Facebook, suggesting the team had become the ‘laughing stock of SA rugby’.

‘It's amazing how people's egos, pride and self-legacy are more accepted and spoke[n] of than the struggle of its employees and its players. Not one kind act of care has been displayed towards [those of] us that have been without [a] salary for two months,’ he wrote.

‘We are expected when we get paid to return happy and work our arses off to make a successful campaign. Yes, trust we will do that, but [we] remain a laughing stock of SA rugby and won't you all love it if we were to fail, but sing our praises if we succeed. Everyone [is] forgetting the struggle we had to endure including times where we aren't even able to feed ourselves, bath in warm water, cook a warm meal and to look after our families.’

In another post, allegedly from an anonymous Kings player, Watson came under fire.

‘The experiences we've had to endure have been painful to say the least, experiences I don't wish on my worst enemies. This whole payment ordeal has been the icing on the cake. Dealing with a president that would give Hitler a proper run for his money, dealing with his constant lying and comments like “I'm a Christian but I'll slit your throat and ask for forgiveness” has been damaging to say the least.

‘How management and son have employed strategies of fear and intimidation to keep power has created an environment where people are scared to talk and be themselves, and where the Kings as a team has dissolved into a minority with political and/or hidden agendas.’

The Kings and South African Rugby Players’ Association said they were aware of the posts and were looking into it.

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Craig Lewis