Luke Watson is interested in extending his contract with Western Province and is open to the idea of captaining the team in this year’s Currie Cup.
Stephen Nell reports for sport24.co.za
The Stormers’ acting captain on Wednesday spoke to Sport24 about his passion for the Cape-based rugby union as well as his ambitions for the future.
There has been speculation that Watson will move to the Eastern Cape to lead the Southern Kings.
“My contract runs out at the end of this year. I am very interested in staying at WP,” said Watson.
“There are offers all over the world for players at present, but I’m very passionate about the Stormers and WP. If they’d like to discuss a new contract with me, I’d be eager to listen.”
Watson was jeered at Newlands earlier this year in the wake of his controversial comment that he had to keep himself from vomiting on the Springbok jersey.
Public sentiment was so loaded against him, that it was difficult to see how he could have a future in South African rugby.
However, his form has been so impressive that he has regained a lot of respect among rugby supporters.
He would justify a place in the Springbok squad for the Test series against the British and Irish Lions. Watson has stated previously that he views the separate use of the Springbok en Protea emblems as politically acceptable and is therefore available.
However, Springbok coach Peter de Villiers may or may not share the view about Watson’s form and will consider the issue of team dynamics.
But even if Watson does not become a Bok again this year, he may be asked to lead WP in the Currie Cup.
“I think that is something that should be discussed nearer the time, but if the request comes, I’ll do it,” Watson said of the WP captaincy.
Watson was appointed WP captain in 2006 and led the Stormers in 2007.
Rassie Erasmus decided after his appointment as Stormers coach to replace Watson as skipper with Jean de Villiers.
De Villiers did an excellent job, but like Schalk Burger will not be available for many games in the Currie Cup because of international duty.
“I have completed many full circles in life,” Watson said of the captaincy.
“I enjoy the excitement and intensity. However, I’m only doing what is being asked of me and most other players would do the same.”
Watson has tons of respect for Cheetahs fetcher Heinrich Brüssow, but does not view Saturday’s clash in Bloemfontein as a one-on-one battle.
“The way in which rugby works means you are not in a battle with one player,” he said.
“Heinrich is currently in the saddle with the Boks and is playing very well. Like George Smith, David Pocock, Phil Waugh, Richie McCaw and other very good fetchers, we’ll give him special attention.
“He is a threat, but our entire game won’t revolve around him.”
Meanwhile, Erasmus has confirmed that Springbok hooker Schalk Brits and tighthead prop Brian Mujati will play their last games for the Stormers on Saturday.
“It will be Schalk’s last game before he goes to Saracens. Brian will only leave us after the Currie Cup (for Northampton),” he said.Tweet