Newly-appointed high-performance director Robbie Kempson says the Kings will aim to improve their squad ahead of the next Pro14 season. DYLAN JACK reports.
The Kings finished last in their conference for the second successive season, having ended the 2018-19 campaign with a heavy 61-25 loss to the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
While the season has been filled with small highlights, such as home wins against the Glasgow Warriors and Edinburgh, the Kings have yet to maintain any form of consistency in the tournament.
These results have overshadowed the optimism that has surrounded the franchise since SA Rugby confirmed in March that a 74% shareholding had been sold to a consortium of local businessmen.
‘The quality of teams and players we are up against was underestimated by ourselves and the Cheetahs,’ Kempson explains in the latest issue of SA Rugby magazine. ‘Both franchises are going to have to bolster their squads.
‘We need those players who are borderline international-class players,’ he added. ‘That will give us a chance to compete.’
The Kings have already signed a playmaker in Courtney Winnaar from the Sharks, and lock Jerry Sexton, brother of Irish flyhalf Johnathan, from the Jersey Reds.
According to Sunday newspaper Rapport, the Kings will soon undergo a squad cleanout, which could see the release of more than 20 players. They have also been linked with a move for Harlequins flyhalf Demetri Catrakilis, who played in Port Elizabeth in 2013.