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Luke WatsonAfter two games starting from the bench, loose forward Luke Watson is back to lead the Kings in their Super Rugby match against the Highlanders in Port Elizabeth on Saturday.


Although Watson’s return was probably hastened by the injury to the powerful Jacques Engelbrecht, the change was on the cards as Kings director of rugby Alan Solomons said: “We are looking to freshen things up”.

Watson will start at flank, with Cornell du Preez moving to No 8.

In other changes, wing Marcello Sampson returns to replace the injured Sergeal Petersen, while David Bulbring will start at lock in a rotation swop with Rynier Bernardo.

The Kings management held off on finalising their front row, after naming the team on Tuesday, with Kevin Buys struggling with a niggling back injury.

“Kevin’s back is worrying him and we will make a final decision on the tighthead prop on Thursday morning,” Solomons said.

“They (Highlanders) have a strong scrummaging pack so we want to see what happens with Kevin before a final decision is made.”

Reflecting on their 72-10 thumping by the Waratahs last weekend, Solomons said it was clear their players were struggling.

“Most of the forwards were playing their eighth and ninth games in a row and we hit the wall a bit there,” Solomons said.

“We needed to freshen up the team a bit and we looked at the way we practised this week and gave some of the guys some time off.

“Luke has come through with some positive play and he’s back to form, so it’s good to have him back.”

Watson said the team remained committed to their cause, as they attempt to avoid a relegation battle at the end of their maiden campaign, and rejected suggestions that self-doubt had crept into their play.

“We knew from the beginning of the season that we would be underdogs for every game and last week Goliath won,” Watson said.

“It was not the performance we wanted, but the commitment of the team has been our strongest attribute and we will be giving a big commitment again on Saturday. The Kings will always give 100 percent.”


Kings: 15 George Whitehead, 14 Marcello Sampson, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss, 11 Siyanda Grey, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Cornell du Preez, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Luke Watson (Captain), 5 David Bulbring, 4 Steven Sykes 3 AN Other, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira

Replacements: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 AN Other, 18 Daniel Adongo, 19 Devin Oosthuizen, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Shane Gates, 22 SP Marais

5 Responses to Super Rugby: Luke Watson back to lead the Kings

  • 1

    When last did you see ‘AN Other’ on an international rugby team sheet! This must be a first for Super Rugby…
    No depth in this Kings team (as i said at the beginning of the comp), they will be ravaged by injuries henceforth due to lack of players’ rotation.
    And there is fkall Lukas can do about it.

  • 2

    @ Pietman:
    I see that A.N. Other is covering on the bench as well!

    Let the injuries flow.

    People felt F-All when the Lions had 18 first choice squad members injured last season.

    Now the Sharks supporters think it’s a new phenomenon that is plauging only them. Hehehe.

    My heart bleeds (not).

  • 3

    @ Scrumdown:
    I am all for a revival of EP rugby, one of my favorite teams of days gone by.
    But I feel sweet fanny adams for the Sheeky’s Kings.

    Feel sorry for the players like Strauss, Vleis, SP, though….’maar meng jou met die semels dan vreet die varke jou…

  • 4

    And Lukas is a kuk rugby player, and an egoist of note.
    ‘Rugby player of the the year 2006′ my ass, Kabamba Floors won that one fair and square…..until Cheeky spun his usual political bullshyte with Butane Komphela and his ANC cronies and the award went to both Lukas and Floors….

    (Jake and PdeV were 100% correct in their assessment of Lukas (“too devisive”, PdeV’s words, in his book). But sadly Rassie Erasmus budged by making him the WP captain ahead of Jean or Schalla, and it cost WP the Currie Cup. Luke and that other useless bearded, tattooed lock (played for the Sharks later and was Luke’s best best man at his wedding, Ross Skeate) could never play in the same team as Schalk, and Rassie was too stupid too realise that. Schalk was mostly ‘injured’ that year….
    Lukas cost WP that Currie Cup….and I am still de moer in about that.

    (I hope I am still alive the day Schalla’s autobiography hits the shelves, I want to buy Superbul a copy for his 70th! Pleasure long after the Kings’ demise. )

  • 5

    I am also totally for the revival of EP Rugby. But for the right reasons, and in the right way.

    In fact I am 100% for Rugby development AT ALL LEVELS, but especially at grass roots club level.

    Something that I feel is neglected in SA in general.

    That’s why when the Lions play the WP tomorrow in the VC game at Ellis Park, I’ll be watching the Kempton Wolwe U19 side. Because I promised a young man I met last week that I would, and that IMO, it’s more important for him (and his team mates) to realise that it’s more than just his mother, father and girlfriend who give a damn about U19 club Rugby.


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