Robbi Kempson

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Robbi Kempson
Full name Robert Bruce Kempson
Date of birth (1974-02-23) 23 February 1974 (age 44)
Place of birth Queenstown, South Africa
Height 1.85 m (6 ft 1 in)
Weight 115 kg (18 st 2 lb; 254 lb)
School Queen's College, Queenstown
University University of Natal
Rugby union career
Position(s) Prop
Senior career
Years Team Apps (Points)
1994–1998 Sharks (Currie Cup) ()
1996–1998 Sharks ()
1999–2003 Stormers ()
1999–2001 Western Province ()
1999 Newport ()
2002–2004 Ulster ()
2004–2005 Northampton Saints ()
Correct as of 9 March 2016
National team(s)
Years Team Apps (Points)
1994 South Africa Under-23 ()
1996 South Africa 'A' ()
1998–2003 South Africa (test) 37 ()
1998–2003 South Africa (tour) 1 ()
Correct as of 9 March 2016

Robert Bruce Kempson (born 23 February 1974 in Queenstown, South Africa) is a former South African rugby union player and currently the head coach of the Eastern Province Kings.[1]

He played rugby between 1994 and 2003 for Natal, Western Province and Irish side Ulster, and also played in 37 test matches and one tour match for the South Africa national team. His regular position was prop.

Rugby career

Playing career

When Kempson was still attending Queen's College, in Queenstown, he was selected to play in the South Africa Schools side.[2] After school, he joined Natal, where he played his first class rugby until 1998.

Kempson was selected to represent South Africa at various youth or development levels; in 1994, he represented the South Africa Under-23 team[3] and later in the same year, he toured with a South Africa Development side to the United Kingdom.[4] He was named on the bench for South Africa in a match in 1995 against Wales in Johannesburg, but failed to make an appearance;[5] but his good form continued as he was named the South African Rugby Young Player of the Year for 1995[1] In 1996, he played for a South Africa 'A' team that toured the United Kingdom[6] and in 1997, he played for both the Sharks[7] and the Emerging Springboks[8] against the British and Irish Lions during their 1997 tour to South Africa.

On 20 June 1998, he finally made his test debut, playing off the bench in their match against Ireland in a mid-year rugby union international.[9][10] He was promoted to the starting line-up for their 96–13 victory over Wales a week later[11][12] and retained the number one jersey in an 18–0 victory over England.[13]

After the 1998 Currie Cup, Kempson move to Cape Town, where he joined Currie Cup side Western Province and Super Rugby side the Stormers. However, he failed to be selected in the South Africa side that competed at the 1999 Rugby World Cup, instead joining Welsh side Newport on a short-term basis,[14] here he joined fellow South Africans Gary Teichmann, Franco Smith and Andy Marinos.[15]

He returned to South Africa to play for the Stormers and Western Province in 2000 and 2001, also forcing his way back into Springbok selection. However, a neck operation at the start of 2002 ruled him out of the entire 2002 Super 12 season.[16] He then signed a deal with Irish side Ulster, where he joined former Stormers coach Alan Solomons.[17] He did return to South Africa to play Stormers during the 2003 Super 12 season and appeared for the Springboks in the 2003 Tri Nations Series – where South Africa's 9–29 defeat to Australia turned out to be Kempson's final test match for South Africa – before returning to Ulster.

When Solomons was sacked by Ulster and later appointed by English Premiership side Northampton Saints, he also lured Kempson across the Irish Sea.[18] However, Kempson's time in Northampton was marred by injuries and he was released after just one season.[19]

Coaching career

Kempson's relationship with Alan Solomons continued when his playing career ended, and Kempson was appointed a forwards coach at the UCT Ikey Tigers, where Solomons was the technical director.[20] He also assisted Gary Gold by coaching the Western Province Vodacom Cup team in 2007[21] and Namibia in their preparation for the 2007 Rugby World Cup.[22]

In 2009, Kempson moved to Port Elizabeth to join Solomons' coaching staff at the Mighty Elephants,[23] where he was also appointed the manager of their newly established academy in 2010.[24] Kempson remained in his role as Academy Director over the next few years, also coaching the Eastern Province U21 side in the 2011, 2012 and 2013 Under-21 Provincial Championships and the NMMU Young Guns in the 2014 and 2015 Varsity Cup Young Guns competitions.

In March 2016, the Eastern Province Rugby Union confirmed that Kempson would be the head coach of the Eastern Province Kings for the 2016 Currie Cup qualification series.[25]


  1. ^ a b "SA Rugby Player Profile – Robbi Kempson". South African Rugby Union. Retrieved 29 May 2016. 
  2. ^ "Vasbyter Kempson het as stut in Super Twaalf geleer". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 26 June 1998. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  3. ^ "Ollie kry trekpas". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 13 October 1994. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  4. ^ "Coetzee van veld gejaag". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 24 November 1994. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  5. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa 40-11 Wales". South African Rugby Union. 2 September 1995. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  6. ^ "SA A skop af". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 2 November 1996. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  7. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Natal Sharks 12-42 British & Irish Lions". South African Rugby Union. 12 June 1997. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  8. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – Emerging Springboks 22-51 British & Irish Lions". South African Rugby Union. 15 June 1997. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  9. ^ "Joost glo dit sal vandag beter gaan in toets teen Iere". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 20 June 1998. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  10. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa 33-0 Ireland". South African Rugby Union. 20 June 1998. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  11. ^ "Vurige skrumwerk besorg Kempson plek teen Drake". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 25 June 1998. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  12. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa 96-13 Wales". South African Rugby Union. 27 June 1998. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  13. ^ "SA Rugby Match Centre – South Africa 18-0 England". South African Rugby Union. 4 July 1998. Retrieved 3 June 2016. 
  14. ^ "Streekspanne van SA vroeg gefinaliseer". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 18 September 1999. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  15. ^ "Uitsmyters help om wêreldbekerkoors in bedwang te bring". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 21 September 1999. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  16. ^ "Chris Rossouw lank uit ná operasie". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 5 January 2002. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  17. ^ "Kempson allig op pad na Ulster". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 2 May 2002. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  18. ^ "Krige lei Solomons se Saints". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 2 September 2004. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  19. ^ "Oud-Bokke tel teenspoed op in Engelse Premierliga". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 17 March 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  20. ^ "flitse". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 18 November 2005. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  21. ^ "Louw lei 'n sterbelaaide WP-span teen Bulldogs op Nuweland". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 1 March 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  22. ^ "Voormalige WP-breier help Namibië slyp vir WB". Die Burger (in Afrikaans). 14 August 2007. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  23. ^ "SWD-Arende nie bang vir die OP se swaargewigte". Son (in Afrikaans). 20 August 2009. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  24. ^ "Grotes staan tou om Kings te help". Son (in Afrikaans). 12 August 2010. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
  25. ^ "EP Kings Currie Cup preparations on track, despite financial difficulties". Rugby15. 9 March 2016. Retrieved 9 March 2016. 
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