Luke unleashed on Griquas

Fri, 08 Feb 2013 17:30
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EXCLUSIVE: Southern Kings captain Luke Watson will make a welcome return to the playing field when they take on Griquas on Wednesday.

Southern Kings captain Luke Watson will make a welcome return to the playing field when they take on Griquas in their final pre-season outing on Wednesday.

The 29-year-old Watson, who has been sidelined with an injury since October last year, has only just returned to the training field.

And with the Kings' Super Rugby debut just a fortnight away, Watson's return on Wednesday could not have come at a better time for the Kings.

Their results in the pre-season build-up have not inspired much confidence. They managed unimpressive victories over the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (a 28-12 win) and an SWD Franchise XV (a 29-13 victory), followed by a 41-31 loss to the Lions at the weekend.

But with their skipper and some other key players returning, they will look to iron out the final kinks in the armour.

Watson said his body was feeling "pretty good" after the lengthy lay-off with a shoulder injury.

"It has been a long, hard pre-season with a lot of work," Watson told this website in an interview.

"The body is holding up very well and I am ready for the first game of the season."

He confirmed that he will feature in the matchday squad against Griquas in Port Elizabeth on Wednesday.

"I'll be up and running for that one," he said, adding: "I have been on the [training] field for just over two weeks.

"I resumed full training with the team this past week. I am slowly, but surely, getting there and getting the legs running again.

"The fitness seems pretty good, so I am looking forward to playing against Griquas and getting back on the field."

Watson, the Kings' most experienced player with 10 Tests and over 200 first class games, which include 80-odd Super Rugby matches, said it is with "excitement and enthusiasm" that they are looking forward to their first Super Rugby game - against the Western Force in Port Elizabeth on February 23.

"The one word we are throwing around is passionate," he said, when asked about he Kings' emotions ahead of their debut on the SANZAR stage.

"We are very passionate about our upcoming season and within that is excitement.

"Any team in the world that is going into the season is going to have some nerves.

"Some of the greatest Springboks who have played countless Tests, talk about the butterflies they get.

"No matter how far you get, you are always going to be slightly nervous ahead of your next performance, no matter how good you are.

"For us there is a slight bit of nerves and an anxiety, but I would say far more excitement and enthusiasm looking forward to the season."

By Jan de Koning

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FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Wed, 31 May 2017
New Zealand U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
England U20 v Samoa U20 07h00 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v France U20 09h30 Tbilisi
Ireland U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
Australia U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
Fri, 02 June 2017
Blues v Reds 07h35 Auckland
Sat, 03 June 2017
Crusaders v Highlanders 02h35 Christchurch
Chiefs v Waratahs 05h05 Hamilton
NZ Barbarians v B&I Lions 07h35 Toll Stadium
Brumbies v Rebels 09h45 Canberra
Force v Hurricanes 11h35 Perth
Sun, 04 June 2017
Ireland U20 v Scotland U20 07h00 AIA Arena
Argentina U20 v France U20 07h00 Tbilisi
New Zealand U20 v Italy U20 09h30 AIA Arena
Australia U20 v Samoa U20 09h30 Tbilisi
South Africa U20 v Georgia U20 12h00 Tbilisi
England U20 v Wales U20 14h30 Tbilisi
RESULT SCORE
Sun, 28 May 2017
Lions v Kings 54 | 10
Sat, 27 May 2017
Jaguares v Brumbies 15 | 39
Munster v Scarlets 22 | 46
Sharks v Stormers 22 | 10
Wasps v Exeter Chiefs 20 | 23
Bulls v Hurricanes 20 | 34
Rebels v Crusaders 19 | 41
Highlanders v Waratahs 44 | 28
Sunwolves v Cheetahs 7 | 47
Fri, 26 May 2017
Reds v Force 26 | 40
Blues v Chiefs 16 | 16
Sun, 21 May 2017
Waratahs v Rebels 50 | 23
Sat, 20 May 2017
Kings v Brumbies 10 | 19
Munster v Ospreys 23 | 3
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 21 | 20
SUPER RUGBY
MORE LOGS
Pool AU
Team P W D L Pts
Brumbies 12 5 0 7 28
Waratahs 12 4 0 8 19
Force 12 4 0 8 17
Reds 12 3 0 9 16
Rebels 12 1 1 10 8
Pool NZ
Team P W D L Pts
Crusaders 13 13 0 0 59
Hurricanes 12 10 0 2 48
Highlanders 13 10 0 3 45
Chiefs 12 9 1 2 45
Blues 13 6 1 6 33
Pool SA1
Team P W D L Pts
Stormers 12 7 0 5 34
Cheetahs 13 3 0 10 16
Bulls 12 3 0 9 15
Sunwolves 12 1 0 11 7
Pool SA2
Team P W D L Pts
Lions 13 12 0 1 56
Sharks 13 9 1 3 42
Jaguares 12 5 0 7 24
Kings 12 4 0 8 19