Luke Watson will make his return in the friendly match against the Bulls XV at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday night.
Watson, who has been named in Carlos Spencer’s starting line up at his familiar spot at no 8 will also be captaining a much changed side from the team that took on Wales last week.
Among the changes include Simon Kerrod who starts at tighthead in place of Charl du Plessis, who is recovering from a neck strain during the game against Wales, and Tim Whitehead who will make his first appearance for the Kings at outside centre, with Ronnie Cooke being rested after a slight ankle strain.
Up front Edgar Marutlulle retains his spot at hooker, while BG Uys comes in for Lizo Gqoboka at loosehead prop. Darron Nell moves to the bench with Steven Cummins taking his place at no 4 lock opposite Cameron Lindsay who retains his spot.
Thembelani Bholi also retains his spot at flank, with Paul Schoeman moving opposite him from eighth man to make space for Watson.
Jaco Grobler comes on scrumhalf, George Whitehead remains at flyhalf, while Ntabeni Dukisa and Siviwe Soyizwapi take up their positions on wing. Dwane Jenner comes on at inside centre in place of Shane Gates, who moves to the bench, while Scott van Breda moves to fullback.
Spencer, who announced his team today, said it was important that the management team had a chance to look at everyone before the Currie Cup.
“I think it is important that we give everyone game time in the first two or three games, there are a lot of changes but it is important that we get a look at everyone.”
“It’s all about building confidence as a team, although we have got a lot of changes its no excuse in terms of where we want to head. We were reasonably happy with the performance against Wales but we still have a lot of work to do.
“We have to keep things simple for now. The disappointing things that came out of the Wales game includes the amount of individual missed tackles, our ball retention and a little bit around our cleanout as well. We’ve worked a bit on this during the week to make sure we get those right on Friday night.
Spencer said he expected the game to be a challenge for the players as there was a lot of competition around securing spots in the upcoming Currie Cup.
“I have told every player that no place is certain and everyone has an opportunity and a chance to make the starting fifteen come Currie Cup, they all know that and a few have the opportunity this week.
“The Bulls are the Bulls regardless of which team they bring here. Some of the youngsters they’re bringing will also be looking at securing a spot come Currie Cup,” he said.
Watson said he was looking forward to being back after a long injury stint, wherein he had six screws and a metal plate placed in his foot following a previously misdiagnosed fracture.
“It has been a long process and a bit of a frustrating one. I am very excited. It is still going to be a process building to Currie Cup as the foot adjusts to the work load.”
Watson said he was looking forward to the re-entry into Currie Cup.
“It’s an exciting time, we have a lot of youngsters coming in and with Carlos, who is one of the most exciting rugby players the world has ever seen, and with him heading it up it’s an exciting time to be involved in the Kings,” he said.
“One of our biggest strengths is that there is an unknown element, there is a bit of mystery surrounding what we’re going to bring and the sort of rugby we’re going to play,” he said.
The game between the Southern Kings and the Bulls XV takes place at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium on Friday, 20 June, 2014 with kick off at 19:00.
The Southern Kings team is:
- Starting Lineup: 1. BG Uys, 2. Edgar Marutlulle, 3. Simon Kerrod, 4. Steven Cummins, 5. Cameron Lindsay, 6. Thembelani Bholi, 7. Paul Schoemnan, 8. Luke Watson (Captain), 9. Jaco Grobler, 10. George Whitehead, 11. Ntabeni Dukisa, 12. Dwayne Jenner, 13. Tim Whitehead, 14. Siviwe Soyizwapi, 15. Scott van Breda
- Replacements: 16. Dane van der Westhuizen, 17. Brenden Olivier, 18. Tom Botha, 19. Darron Nell, 20. Devin Oosthuizen, 21. Kevin Luiters, 22. Shane Gates, 23. Hansie Graaff
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Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2014/06/the-return-of-luke-watson/