Former EP Kings veteran back Tiger Mangweni has been appointed defence coach for the Vodacom Cup side.
The 34-year-old, who played most of his career at fullback before moving to centre three years ago, will also assist with defensive coaching within the various other EP structures.
'I knew that this time would come and I am looking forward to the new role,' said Mangweni, who was named EP Player of the Year in 2012 and nominated for the 2013 Currie Cup First Division Player of the Year award.
EP president Cheeky Watson said Mangweni’s appointment highlighted the commitment to develop players from the region.
'We wanted to develop players of colour when it comes to coaching at the highest level, and it is always easier to develop someone who has already played at the highest level, as he knows and understands all the structures and disciplines,' he said.
'I think where Tiger gains the respect is that we saw very clearly that when he played at No 12, he didn’t shy away from tackles and didn’t shy away from defence; he almost relished defending and tackling, so it was a no-brainer when it came to his entrance into the defensive structures in Eastern Province rugby.'
Watson said Mangweni had the potential to coach at the highest level, not only as a defensive coach, but as a head coach.
'The defence structures are really just his entrance into the coaching system,' he said.
EP Kings captain Luke Watson said the team was excited to be coached by Mangweni.
'We think that having someone like Tiger, not only the rugby player but the person, pioneering and leading the EP Kings and developing the talent coming through, just makes sense on every possible level,' he said.