Bok gets top job at Kings
‘NEWS: Loyiso Dotwana, Chairman of the Southern Kings’ newly constituted board, announced some key changes – geared at laying the foundation to establish a professional, world-class team in the Eastern Cape.
Charl Crous, the current CEO of the franchise, has accepted a position as Head of Operations for Pro14 rugby, based in Dublin, effective from June 2019.
Dotwana said that he viewed this appointment as a positive development for the franchise given the in-depth knowledge Crous has of the franchise’s operations.
“The new Southern Kings Board met for the first time today [Thursday] and I am pleased to advise that approval has been granted to commence a search for a new CEO,” emphasised Dotwana. ”
“We will we go through a thorough process to review all potential candidates, thus ensuring that we make the right appointment for the long-term”.
“In the meantime, as an interim measure, Rory Stear, Vice-Chairman of the Board, and I will get involved in some of the day to day operations of the franchise, thus providing the focus which we need to implement the required changes. Ultimately we want to make this an environment which will attract the best CEOs.”
Former Springbok prop and respected coach Robbie Kempson has been appointed as High-Performance Director for the Southern Kings.
This is a new role for the franchise and his primary responsibilities will include the recruitment of quality playing personnel, overseeing the coaching structures and establishing a High-Performance Rugby Academy.
“Robbie Kempson is a widely respected professional in rugby circles and is known for his extensive knowledge of the game, having played rugby at the highest level and for his immense role in the nurturing of young talent from this province,” said Dotwana.
“It was, therefore, a natural decision to appoint one of the sons the Eastern Cape province into this important role,”
Dotwana said that one of the key objectives of the franchise was to improve on-field results from the 2019/20 Guinness PRO14 season.
“While the Southern Kings have shown a gradual improvement in the current season versus the inaugural 2017/18 season, we want to ensure that we win at least half of the fixtures from the next season.
“We expect next season to be very different. Just like in business, we are also ambitious with the results that we expect on the field. The groundwork to ensure that we achieve our targets is already underway for the season,” he emphasised.
“We will be doing everything possible to source the best possible talent to strengthen the core base of the team. This will be balanced up with high potential local talent players within the current team and also other emerging players.”
Deon Davids remains on as the coach with his contract set to run until May 2020.
Dotwana said that it is important that the Eastern Cape gets a team which it can rally behind.
“There is no other province which has the vast number of rugby playing schools that we have to source talent from.
“Too often our talent leaves for other parts of the country and globe. We want to change that by making the Southern Kings a team that rugby players aspire to be a part of.”
* On Thursday the new owners of the Southern Kings, The Greatest Rugby Company in the Whole Wide World (Pty) Ltd (GRC) marked the start of their new journey by announcing their strategy going forward.
Speaking at a stakeholder conference the new Chairman of the Southern Kings, Loyiso Dotwana, said that the franchise, which is the first black-owned one in the country, would be run along key business principles.
“Our business model will enable the pooling of resources and talents to operate a smaller but professional high-performance team,” said Dotwana. “Ultimately our organisation will reflect what South African businesses can become and should be.”
GRC recently purchased a majority 74 percent shareholding in the franchise from the South African Rugby Union.
This, in turn, enabled SARU to pass on a 26 percent shareholding to the Eastern Province Rugby Union.
“This gives them an equity position within a professional rugby team and also the opportunity to participate in our community programmes which will be targeted at developing rugby at a grassroots level, recognising that the Eastern Cape is the home of black rugby in South Africa,” emphasised Dotwana.
The franchise is now in a position it has never been in before – guaranteed inclusion in a premier international rugby competition – the Pro14.
The Southern Kings, together with the Cheetahs, are the only two South African franchises and Southern Hemisphere representatives, who compete in this internationally acclaimed competition. “We are playing against the best professional clubs in the world and need to significantly up our game to ensure that we are formidable competitors. This is all about playing quality rugby!,” said Dotwana.
The franchise, in conjunction with other partners, will also be establishing a Rugby Academy by year-end. This will be geared at developing and retaining the best talent so that a strong future base can be built for rugby in the Eastern Cape.
Dotwana also announced the composition of the Southern King’s new Board:
* Loyiso Dotwana (GRC) – Chairman
* Rory Stear (GRC) – Deputy Chairman
* Kenny Govender (GRC)
* Gary Markson (GRC)
* Bantwini Matika (EP Rugby Union)
* Shaheed Patel (EP Rugby Union)
* Michael Sacke (Motors South Africa) – Independent Director
* Gugu Nxiweni (Improvate Group) – Independent Director
* Andre Rademan (EP Rugby Union)- Standing invitation to attend meetings
“We have appointed a well qualified Board and will also encourage agility and quick decision making. Three key Board Committees have been established to focus on rugby strategy, revenue generation and ensuring good governance.”
“We know where we are going and we have set ambitious goals which we are determined to achieve, most importantly the establishment of a professional, world class rugby team, right here in the Eastern Cape,” concluded Dotwana.