Southern Kings coach Deon Davids is pleased with the progress of his squad during pre-season ahead of the Super Rugby campaign.
The Port Elizabeth-based side returned to training this week following a two-and-a-half week break, eager to complete their last leg of pre-season preparations ahead of the opening match against Jaguares at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium.
Davids is happy his side has had an opportunity to have a full pre-season, unlike in previous seasons when this proved to be a challenge.
"We were fortunate this time that we were able to start a bit earlier," Davids told the Southern Kings website.
"Unfortunately, we did start a bit late with some of the contracting because of certain circumstances, but we are much ahead in comparison with where we were last year. We have had two wonderful months of pre-season."
The coach is also pleased with the manner in which the players in the squad have responded.
"It has been quite interesting and challenging. Some of the guys have not really been used to the workload, some responded well. Overall, each individual progressed and got better as we went through the pre-season," he said.
"Under the circumstances, in a short space of time, we were lucky to be able to put together a reasonable squad of talented players. There are a lot of exciting youngsters coming through. I think we have a good balance, although there will always be one or two positions where you could think that we could still try and test things.
"But overall, I’m quite happy with where we are. Again, this time last year we did not have a squad and now we are in a fortunate position.
"In the best circumstances we would have liked to have had some continuity – building from the Currie Cup into Super Rugby, but unfortunately we work under different circumstances. However, I do think we can look forward to seeing the squad playing."