Deon Davids confirmed as Southern Kings coach for PRO14 debut

Deon Davids has coached the Kings since the 2016 Super Rugby season. JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images

Deon Davids has signed a new three-year deal that will see him lead the Southern Kings into their first PRO14 season.

Davids, who joined the Kings in 2016, coached the franchise to six wins and their highest ever finish in the 2017 Super Rugby campaign -- their final year in the competition.

The Port Elizabeth-based side joined the expanded PRO14 earlier this month having been axed by Super Rugby as it streamlines from 18 to 15 teams ahead of the 2018 season.

"I'm happy to be with the Southern Kings now for the next three years," Davids said in a statement released by the franchise.

"We'll be starting this process of putting together a squad all over again. We lost a number of our squad from the Super Rugby campaign, and we are busy putting together a new, competitive squad.

"We have identified a large group of players and we have communicated, through our office, to the different unions regarding the players we would like to be here.

"The players that have joined us already are the ones that have been released from their duties at those unions. There are some players whom we are still awaiting the response of their various unions to release them as soon as possible."

The Kings returned to training this week with a squad of just 23 players, including former Springbok wing Cornal Hendricks, who has signed a deal with the club for the upcoming season.