Home #LoveRugby Time that Deon Davids gets recognition

Time that Deon Davids gets recognition


The Southern Kings have been a revelation this year under head coach Deon Davids with his team sitting on the same log points (19) as the leading Aussie team, the Brumbies, writes Jacques Nortier

Davids was appointed as head coach last year by SARU after the Kings made a return to Super Rugby.

His appointment was something Rassie Erasmus fought long and hard for and it was clear that Davids was someone Erasmus thought highly of and rates as a Super Rugby coach.

Not many at SA Rugby had the same belief in Davids as Erasmus did and after two seasons he has hopefully proven that he was the right man for the job.

Davids, a former loose forward spent most of his playing days in the Boland Super League where he also had his first taste of coaching for Worcester Villagers guiding them to the Boland Super League B title in 1998.

He also guided Boland College to a title in 2002 before he was appointed assistant coach for the Boland Cavaliers.

With Davids coaching the forwards, Boland won the First Division in 2003 and 2004 and the Vodacom Shield in 2004. In 2006 Davids became the head coach of the Vodacom Cup side and remained the assistant coach for the Currie Cup side.

He assisted Chester Williams in coaching the Emerging Springboks side to victory in the 2008 IRB Nations Cup in Romania and assisted Eric Saul’s with the SA U20 team that finished third in the 2008 IRB Junior World Championship.

Davids left Boland to coach UWC as they finished third in their first ever Varsity Shield competition. Davids then became the head coach for the Lions U21 and the Vodacom Cup sides in 2012.

At the end of 2012 he returned to the Western Cape to coach the SWD Eagles as head coach for their academy and U21 sides and assisted the first team until 2015 when he was appointed the head coach before SARU announced that he will take charge of the Southern Kings side.

What is nice to see is that Davids is one of those coaches that have done the hard yards in his coaching career. The massive turnaround he and his team have had with the Kings in less than two years speaks volumes of him as a coach at this level.

It seems that quality coaches are hard to come by in South Africa these days but when you see coaches like Davids you start to wonder why was it only Erasmus that saw his potential.

It was said that the Southern Kings were the best conditioned side from all the South African franchise pre-season and now it is clear to see why.

Transformation is one of the most important aspect of our game today and its survival in a professional environment depends on our success in this process. With that said it does not comfort me that Davids is the only coach of color in Super Rugby at the moment and will most probably be without a Super Rugby team by the end of the season.

It looks likely that he will return to SWD and coach at First Division level after this years Super Rugby.

It is worrying when a top franchise like the Bulls struggle in Super Rugby and when they start talking of a new coach we hear names like Heyneke Meyer and John Mitchell in the newspapers.

One can just imagine what a coach like Davids can achieve with the quality of players a franchise like the Bulls have and the money to back it.

Photo by: Getty Images


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  1. I was reading somewhere today that it’s the Kings conditioning coach that is and has been the unsung hero with the age-group teams in the past and now seniors in the present…

  2. @bryce_in_oz: There is a Lions supporter wanting to give all the credit to Barend Pietersen but is wrong.

    I hate that they always want to give credit to someone else that the person who is the actually one responsible.

    Davids is quality, Rassie saw it and people need to start seeing what we have in the man

  3. This guy has performed wonders. Solomons was a pretty good coach and even he and spencer and kie didn’t get anything out of EP like this guy. I’d put him in charge of Boks tomoro already.

  4. @DavidS: David, conditioning is not teh only aspect of a team…

    Conditioning was done with SARU and I said that they were the best in that before season but it is a fool who cannot see Davids abilities

  5. Bottom line in judging a coach: What improvements are evident during a season. And here it’s quite obvious: The Kings are getting better and better – and that is down to the coach. In the same way, it also tells a lot about Fleck, where Stormers are getting worse and worse as the season progresses! And please do not use injuries as an excuse….

  6. So tempting.
    So what’s stopping me?
    By that I mean with fabricating a fun name for coach Davids?
    Smith. Franco Smith. I went all in on Bunny’s suggestion that he was a ringer ( thanks anyways Bunny if ya got them all right you wouldn’t have to go to church on Sundays right?) .
    He got the ” Generalissimo ” & totally could not handle. Crashed & burned ever since.
    As an aside. Mr Ooom Rugby articles posted here presaged all this acclaim.

  7. @Jacques:

    Dunno who Barend Pieterse is… but the it’s been clear the Kings have been on another level when it comes to RSA teams and conditioning and fitness… something JW ensured in his first tenure with a fairly depleted, rag-tag bunch at the Brumbies… and the person responsible for this transition at the Kings has been Nadus Nieuwoudt… the same guy that took their U19’s to the CC title.

    That said I’m taking nothing away from Deon Davids… just stating the one area they’ve been shades above the rest of the RSA teams of late… it was only a few months ago that they kept falling away in the second half of every game.

    The waxing lyrical is a bit much though… it’s the first time they’ve beaten a South African team in arguably the worst two seasons of South African rugby I’ve ever witnessed (bar the Lions)…

  8. Whomever has the pack playing as a unit needs some credit too though… bar the Lions none of the teams including the Boks play as a unit at pace at the breakdown on their ball nor opposition.

    Just remembered who Pieterse is… ex Cheetahs player… now LO coach…

  9. @Jacques:

    Well there you go… it seems he has quite a bit of nouse when it comes to tactical play… it’s what kept them in the game against the Sharks…

  10. Imagine how much Mzwandile Stick could have grown had he stuck with Davids and do the hard yards at the Kings. Instead he was pushed into the Bok assistant role prematurely and made to look like a fool.

    SARU really are a bunch of clowns when it comes to proper coach identification and development.

  11. @DavidS:

    Agree, he will be a much better fit at the Lions than at the Bulls I imagine. He can take some of the promising Kings players with him as well.

    Just leave Chris Cloete for the Stormers. How the hell they let that guy slip through their fingers while playing Elstadt at openside is beyond comprehension.

  12. @Craven:

    More to the point would the King’s backline look anything like it does now if Stick was still there?


    Yeah and whose idea was it for Chean Roux and Stick to coach the SA U20’s?

    It astounds me that a man who has 20yrs of coaching experience across almost every level of RSA rugby does not even get the RSA U20’s (a once extremely important team) yet one of his assistants makes the cut over him…

  13. @bryce_in_oz: They are on the books and they had to used. Remember a article I wrote on Stick? Go aback and read it, it explain that Stick was not supposed to be backline coach but Hoskins and Coetzee forced that.

  14. @bryce_in_oz: Sound more like sour grapes. He makes a few good enough points but them get personal because of his history at Boland, I was a huge Loffie fan but lost it with his know it all attitude at Boland and I will change the world attitude in America.

    I started to think maybe David was right about him when he was at the Lions.

    Like Jean or like him not his got great credentials at junior rugby and he will do good with Junior Boks, so will Stick.

    He should have been at U20 from the start in my view.

    On selecting SR coaches for Junior Boks? Will never happen in professional game, these guys wants to go for head coach positions not get stuck in a level below SR.

    I am happy with the progress shown on a rugby level by SARU, but that is me, I would still want to see the Mobi Unit back with Rassie as DOR at SARU and Nienamber as defense specialist in SARU training our future defence coaches

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