Robbie Kempson has been appointed interim head coach of the Kings until they find a suitable replacement for Deon Davids.
Loyiso Dotwana, chairperson of the Greatest Rugby Company (GRC), the majority shareholder of the Kings, confirmed in a statement that the process of finding a new coach has been aborted, and that director of rugby, Kempson, would serve as head coach until the position was filled.
The process of finding a new coach was derailed following the confusion surrounding a World Rugby Level 3 qualification, which was a critical criteria for the job.
The Kings initially said that only one of their shortlisted candidates had this certificate, which led to media reports that former Springbok coach Peter de Villiers had been ruled out of contention.
However, De Villiers took to social media on Tuesday to post his coaching credentials, which included a Wales Level 3 certificate from 1996. World Rugby acknowledges the Wales Level 3 qualification as an equivalent.
The next day the Kings confirmed that De Villiers was still part of their panel, before announcing on Friday that the process has been put on ice.
‘The events of the past few days have convinced us 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, Robbie 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 kick off their 2019-20 Pro14 campaign in September.
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