Kempson remains determined to appoint a high calibre coach to take charge of the team, but with only a few months left in their current campaign, he has extended his search to allow the new coach to take his seat in the 2020/2021 season.

“I intend to have a new coach in place before the start of next season but we are too far into this campaign now, and you can’t expect a new coach to come in mid-season,” said Kempson. “So I will continue to coach the team until the end of the current campaign.

“It is unlikely we’d be able to find a high calibre coach at short notice and one who’d step in at this point. If there was someone like that it would be someone who has just been sacked by his province or club, or is unhappy at his club, and that would be far from ideal.”

Kempson said patience is key to finding the right candidate.

“I will coach the team until we find the right guy,” he said. “We don’t want to take a scatter-gun approach to the coaching appointment and then stumble along through a succession of different coaches. We want to get the right guy the first time.”

Kempson was confident that an ideal coaching candidate would become available at the end of the northern hemisphere club season when coaches start coming off contract.

“There must be someone of calibre who will be available soon, once the season is over, I just don’t think it will happen in mid-season.”

The head coaching position aside, Kempson was pleased with the astute signings made in terms of his assistant coaches.

“We have Braam van Straaten and Vuyo Zanqa working with us as assistant coaches and now Swys de Bruin is with us as an attack coach on a consultancy basis,” he said. “We have good individuals helping out and that makes it easier for me.

“What is important is that we must just carry on improving incrementally and continue to grow as a unit.”

The Isuzu Southern Kings will return to action in the Guinness PRO14 on Saturday, 4 January, with the travelling to Scotland to play Edinburgh.