The team will meet Munster in a Valentine’s Day encounter in Cork on Friday night before making the journey to Llanelli in Wales where they will line up against the Scarlets on Saturday, 23 February.

Kempson hinted before his team’s departure to the UK that his players have been eagerly awaiting their return clash against Munster after feeling that that they let themselves down in Port Elizabeth last October, when they went down 31-20 against the Irish giants.

“They will be two tough games, we are under no illusion about the task that awaits us,” said Kempson.

“Munster are always difficult, and we will be playing them late on a Friday night in Cork. We are keen to get stuck into that game though because we felt we missed an opportunity in the game in South Africa.

“The Scarlets, meanwhile, have an exceptional coach in Brad Mooar, who did an incredible job with his team when several of his players were away at the World Cup.”

With the team coming off back-to-back defeats against the Toyota Cheetahs – the last of which was a heavy 45-0 loss – and having to deal with an unfortunate spate of injuries, Kempson was grateful for the bye last weekend.

Unfortunately for the coach, playmaker JT Jackson (utility back), Yaw Penxe (winger), Bader Pretorius (flyhalf) and Cameron Dawson (prop) were ruled out of the tour due to injury, but despite this Kempson was able to select a squad featuring a good blend of youth and experience.

“It was perfect timing for the bye in the sense that we played two tough successive derbies against the Cheetahs and there were a lot of bumps and bruises from those games, and unfortunately one or two injuries too,” said Kempson.

The good news for Kempson, however, was that a handful of players recovered from their injuries and could fill the void.

“It is good timing with Demetri Catrakilis (flyhalf) back and ready to play again because Bader Pretorius is out. Having him back at full flight will be great for us, and Howard Mnisi (centre) brings experience,” he said.

“We also have JC Astle (lock) back and fully fit again. So while we have lost a few players there is a good mix of youth and experience in this group.”

Another experienced player who returns after missing their Guinness PRO14 derby in Bloemfontein due to injury is Stefan Ungerer (scrumhalf). The touring squad includes two uncapped players in Luyolo Dapula (looseforward) and Edmund Ludik (utility back).

Isuzu Southern Kings tour squad:

Forwards: Alandre van Rooyen, Aston Fortuin, Bobby de Wee, Elrigh Louw, Ignatius Prinsloo, Jacques du Toit, JC Astle, Jerry Sexton, Lusanda Badiyana, Luyolo Dapula, Pieter Scholtz, Rossouw de Klerk, Ruaan Lerm, Schalk Ferreira, Thembelani Bholi, Xandre Vos. Backs: Andell Loubser, Christopher Hollis, Courtney Winnaar, Demetri Catrakilis, Edmund Ludik, Erich Cronje, Howard Mnisi, Josh Allderman, Josiah Twum-Boafo, Sibusiso Sithole, Stefan Ungerer.