Kings bench Luke

April 23, 2013
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The Southern Kings have named Andries Strauss as captain, with Luke Watson coming on from the bench for the match against the Cheetahs on Saturday in Bloemfontein.

Director of Rugby, Alan Solomons, said the decision to bench Watson had been made following a number of factors.

“Just to put perspective on it, Luke sustained a bad ankle injury at the end of last season and missed the last couple of games. He worked very hard, he is extremely professional and diligent, to get his fitness up to speed, which he did by the last pre-season game against the Griquas,” he said.

“Unfortunately in the first game, against the Western Force, Luke sustained a nasty throat injury where he fractured a bone in his throat that made things extremely difficult in that it partially blocked his airway and made training impossible.”

Solomons said Watson had restarted training while the team was on tour and had played a full 80 minutes against the SWD Eagles in the Vodacom Cup the week before the team returned.

He said he had discussed Watson’s fitness with him as well as the medical and conditioning team ahead of the Bulls game and had decided that they would start him and play him for 40 to 45 minutes, which they did.

“Obviously Luke is our captain. He is an experienced player with international experience and super rugby experience,” he said

“For this particular game, however, we are playing up country in Bloemfontein, there is an altitude factor and after discussing it with the conditioning and medical staff, as part of the plan for Luke’s full re-entry into Super Rugby, I have decided that the most appropriate thing would be for him to come in off the bench.”

“With Luke coming off the bench, Andries assumes captaincy and Steven Sykes takes control of the Forwards as vice captain,” he said.

Solomons said Sergeal Petersen was also not up for selection after continuing concerns over the groin strain he had sustained last week during training, despite initial indications that he was eligible for selection.

“Sergeal’s groin is still not 100% and on discussing it with the medical staff, we feel that it would not be worth risking.”

“He is a young guy, an athlete and wing. If he tears the groin muscle, it could not only affect his playing this season, but his career going forward. He is a young 18-year-old who has a marvellous career ahead of him and we feel that to be cautious at this point in time is the right thing for him.”

Solomons said Petersen’s unavailability presented an opportunity for Siyanda Grey to make his Super Rugby debut, while Marcello Sampson was also being rested, making way for Michael Killian, who missed out the first half of the season after breaking his arm before the start of the season.

“Siyanda sustained a torn ACL last season, and it has been a long hard road to recovery, but he has now played regularly for the Vodacom Cup side and it is great to have him back playing for the senior side and being able to play Super Rugby.”

“Marcello has been involved in most of the games to date, Michael comes back from injury and we have done a rotation there, as it is important that we have strength in depth. One must also remember that we have now played seven games back to back, including four on tour, and the effects of that are being felt,” he said.

Solomons said Ronnie Cooke moved back to centre for Waylon Murray, who moved to the bench.

Discussing the front pack, Solomons said Rynier Bernardo would start while David Bulbring moved to the bench, while Jacques “Vleis” Engelbrecht  would start at number eight in Watson’s place.

Virgile Lacombe has also been named on the bench, having recovered from his rib injury and having come off a strong showing in the second half of the Vodacom Cup game against the Sharks XV this past weekend.

Kings team:

15.          George Whitehead

11.          Michael Killian

13.          Ronnie Cooke

12.          Andries Strauss (Captain)

14.          Siyanda Grey

10.          Demetri Catrakilis

9.             Shaun Venter

1.             Schalk Ferreira

2.             Bandise Maku

3.             Kevin Buys

6.             Cornell du Preez

4.             Steve Sykes (Vice Captain)

5.             Rynier Bernado

7.             Wimpie van der Walt

8.             Jacques Engelbrecht

Replacements

16.          Virgile Lacombe

17.          Grant Kemp

18.          David Bulbring

19.          Luke Watson

20.          Nicolas Vergallo

21.          Waylon Murray

22.          Siviwe Soyizwapi

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6 Comments

  1. avatar Boertjie says:
    April 23rd, 2013 at 7:04 pm

    Hahaha. Now altitude is getting blamed for
    benching Puke.
    Is he perhaps a disuniting factor?

  2. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 10:07 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 7:04 pm:

    according to what I read Luke did not want to start last week but the coaching staff believe that he MUST because he is the squad captain.
    Coaching staff now looking for excuses to make the correct decision.

    I :applause: Luke for being open on this issue and :shake: at the coaching staff

  3. avatar Craven says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 10:34 am

    Hate to say it, but I made this point about Luke starting from the bench last week when the matchday squad was anounced.

  4. avatar Loosehead says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 12:51 pm

    So Luke, is fat, unfit, bearded and average.

  5. avatar JT_BOKBEFOK! says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 1:04 pm

    Reply to Loosehead @ 12:51 pm:

    leave the bearded part out and you can add Frans Steyn… Lost a lot of respect for him lately due to his onfield attitude :?

  6. avatar Boertjie says:
    April 24th, 2013 at 1:42 pm

    Reply to JT_BOKBEFOK! @ 1:04 pm:

    Lately? I missed that. But IMO he has
    always worn an attitude on his face.
    I wonder if he’s a happy chappy.

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