Deon Davids says he wants to “grow further as a coach” after he came to a mutual agreement to part ways with the Southern Kings on Wednesday.
The PRO14 franchise announced in a statement that Davids will leave the Eastern Cape outfit after four years at the helm.
The former Boland and SWD mentor has been rumoured to be joining the Cheetahs, who have lost Franco Smith to Italy.
Davids’ most memorable season at the Kings would’ve been the 2017 Super Rugby season, where they ended above the Bulls and Cheetahs on the log – during which they also beat the Sharks and Bulls.
The 51-year-old Davids, though, has had a tough time in the PRO14 over the last two campaigns, as an exodus of players due to financial and administrative reasons saw the team battle to make any inroads in the European competition.
Things are also changing off the field, with a new consortium now in charge of the franchise, while former Springbok prop Robbi Kempson is the director of rugby.
“I have had a daunting, but at the same time rewarding experience as head coach of the Southern Kings, and the time has come for me to hand the reigns to the next head coach. I need to grow further as a coach, and look forward to doing that,” Davids said in a statement on Wednesday.
“The Southern Kings represent an important rugby region, and I trust that with sufficient resources it will play its rightful role in South African rugby.
“I want to thank Rassie Erasmus for giving me the opportunity to coach theSouthern Kings, as he played a direct role in my appointment.
“I also want to thank Mr Hennie Baartman, the president of SWD and his executive, who unselfishly agreed to send me on this journey in 2016, shortly after my appointment as head coach of SWD.
🚨 BREAKING NEWS 🚨— Isuzu Southern Kings (@SouthernKingsSA) June 19, 2019
Deon Davids and the ISUZU Southern Kings have reached an amicable agreement to part ways.
The franchise would like to thank Coach DD for laying the foundation for the future.
We wish him well for his future.
Read more: https://t.co/NiUkrTpjuQ pic.twitter.com/dRI5SejJ5L
“I also want to thank the coaches, the support staff, all the players and the wonderful supporters of Port Elizabeth for making this a very special time in my coaching career.”
Media reports over the last week have stated that former Cheetahs coach Rory Duncan could be in line to replace Davids at the Kings.
Former lock Duncan is currently in charge of the Worcester Warriors in England.@ashfakmohamed