Did Schalk take offence after Watson swap?

Written by Jonathan Burt (VinChainSaw)

Posted in :In the news, Stormers, Super 14 on 12 Mar 2008 at 13:07

Dale Granger reports the air turned blue in the Stormers camp this week when Schalk Burger was told to switch to No 8 with Luke Watson reverting to his customary flank-fetcher role for Friday’s Super 14 game against the Chiefs in Hamilton.

It proves Burger, the Cape side’s only Springbok representative from the Rugby World Cup final, won the battle. In the starting line-up Burger returns from a two-match suspension at No 6 and Watson has gone to the back of the scrum at No 8 jersey. Robbie Diack drops down to the bench, displacing Pieter Myburgh.

Stormers spokesperson Frikkie Erasmus on Wednesday denied all knowledge of a rift in the camp, but it was reliably learnt that Burger took offence at being switched from his preferred openside flank role to No 8, the position he played at school.

The Stormers announced their team on Wednesday, showing only one change from the side that beat the Reds in Brisbane last weekend.

Before the Stormers’ opening match of the Super 14 season, against the Bulls, Erasmus selected Watson at 8, with Burger at 6, adding: “Luke Watson will play No 8 throughout the season”.

However, he since did a U-turn, and his latest line is: “why does everyone make a fuss of the numbers on the back of a jersey? I played at 6, 7 and 8 during my career, and they are all the same”.

Clearly, the current crop of players, including Burger and Watson, don’t agree with him, but in terms of swaying Erasmus’ mind, Burger has appeared to have won.

It has been learnt that Burger, who played No 6 during the World Cup and most of his Springbok career, wants to play that role for the Stormers in the Super 14, but things have been going on behind the scenes.

For the past week the Stormers have declined all requests from the South African, New Zealand and Australian media to interview Burger, saying they wanted the player to focus on his game against the Chiefs.

The Stormers have this season adopted a draconian media policy, with access to Erasmus extremely limited, but that has now evolved to including the players, as all media enquiries and requests have to be done through Frikkie Erasmus.

Burger last season returned from a potentially career-ending spinal injury to feature in all 13 of the Stormers’ Super 14 matches. In every instance, however, Burger played blindside flank with Watson on the open side.

At the same time the Stormers appear to have a leadership crisis among their senior players involving captain Jean de Villiers, Burger and Watson.

Last year, after a meeting between Erasmus and assistant coaches Gary Gold and Brendan Venter, it was initially agreed that Burger would succeed Watson as captain.

Subsequently, however, De Villiers was named skipper. This was apparently after Erasmus and his right-hand man, Frikkie Erasmus, had met with Watson’s father, Cheeky, to discuss his son’s future at Newlands and the role he should play in the Stormers side.

Cheeky is understood to have told the coach that he had no problem with Luke not captaining the side, provided Burger did not have a higher profile than him.

Nevertheless, Burger’s star status and popularity in the team continues to challenge Erasmus’ style of coaching. The former Cheetahs mentor believes that his megastar the highest paid rugby player in South Africa, with annual earnings of up to R6-million from contracts and endorsements should be cut down to size as a rank and file member of the team.

However, Burger is still the most sought-after Stormers player from fans wanting autographs and agents negotiating public appearances.

This is believed to have irked Springbok teammate De Villiers, who wants a higher profile in the public eye and the media.

The Chiefs have also made a change at No8 for Friday’s match.

The powerful Sione Lauaki, a key player driving the pack over the advantage line, but a man who was cut to ground by the Cheetahs last weekend, has been benched for the more versatile Liam Messam.

Centre Richard Kahui also returns from an ankle injury and coach Ian Foster has made an eye-opening positional change by switching All Black Mils Muliaina from fullback to inside centre. This brings Lelia Masaga in on the wing with Soseni Anesi swapping the No11 jersey for No15.

“It is great to welcome back Richard. Another pleasing aspect is seeing Sosene returning to form. He seems to have recovered well from his recent neck and ankle strains and is looking fast again. Sos also enjoyed some time at fullback last week, which made it easy to go with this backline,” said Foster.

“While it is a tough call on Callum Bruce going to the reserves, I’m sure he will be an effective player for us off the bench.

At the same time Sione has started in four games to date, so it is time for him to freshen up a bit. I’m expecting he will also play an important role for us off the bench.”


  • I have a few questions:

    – first and foremost: WTF does it have to do with Cheeky Watson how popular Schalk Burger is and his position in the Stormers side?

    – why does Rassie even give him the time of day?

    – Surely, as winner of 3 world cup medals (u/19, u/21, seniors) and winner of world player of the year, Schalk would surely have a higher profile than that of Watson?

    – when, oh when, is somebody going to put either/or of the Watsons in their place?

    – what does Jean de Villiers actually bring to the table that even warrants selection, not to mention captaincy of the Stormers or a higher profile than the Incredible Schalk?

    I was actually a fan of both Luke and his dad in years gone by. Both for Luke’s playing skill and his dad’s principles.
    Seems I was sorely mistaken, especially on the principles and ethics side of things.
    It seems Luke is as big an imposter as his old man, and equally lacking in moral fibre.
    It seems unbelievable that a few decades ago Cheeky Watson took a stand for what was right.

    Now he threatens PC members with farm removals if they dont toe the ANC line, he threatens Jake with his job, he pulls strings to get his son a bok cap and he seemingly prescribes who is allowed to be popular down in Newlands.

  • Comment 1, posted at 12.03.08 13:16:17 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I actually believed there was some normality πŸ™„

  • Comment 2, posted at 12.03.08 13:28:50 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • I think it might be a genetic thing, come to think of it.

    It would seem that being a Watson makes you predisposed to going against the grain and the status quo.

    Dont think it makes a difference what you’re fighting against – as long as you’re in the underdog camp plotting the downfall of somebody else.

  • Comment 3, posted at 12.03.08 13:30:48 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Oh my word.

    Now i can see why people dont rate Granger as a journo.

    This sounds more like a scene out of Days of our Lives…


  • Comment 4, posted at 12.03.08 13:32:48 by wpw Reply
  • wpw,

    Dont shoot the messenger chum…

  • Comment 5, posted at 12.03.08 13:35:22 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Vinnie

    After watching all the Stormers games thus far i can tell you that Luke doesnt seem to be as windgat as he was last year.

    And the pineapples under his arms seem to have disappeared.

    Another thing… how do we know if Granger is telling the truth???

  • Comment 6, posted at 12.03.08 13:36:33 by wpw Reply
  • wpw,

    The lack of a libel lawsuit?

  • Comment 7, posted at 12.03.08 13:37:12 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Vinnie

    I am not defending the Watsons.

    Granger is not a journo’s arse if you ask me.

    This is the same guy who reckons Joe Pietersen is the next Christian Cullen.

  • Comment 8, posted at 12.03.08 13:38:47 by wpw Reply
  • Yep wes,at first i thought i i may be eating this shyte up to easily but remembered that Dale doesn’t write for the Son or Voice and if he just soema made this up he’d be in a fair amount of [email protected]

  • Comment 9, posted at 12.03.08 13:40:09 by provincejoulekkading Reply
  • I would like to say that I do not believe that Rassie would stoop so low and discuss this type of thing with that idiot Cheeky Watson ❗

  • Comment 10, posted at 12.03.08 13:40:47 by shark-tank Reply

  • wes,

    You think Eddie Andrews is the next Incredible Hulk. πŸ™„

  • Comment 11, posted at 12.03.08 13:41:11 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • I would like to say that I do not believe that Rassie would stoop so low and discuss this type of thing with that idiot Cheeky Watson

    12.03.08 13:40:47 – shark-tank Edit

    I would also like to say that… but in SA Rugby anything is possible…

  • Comment 12, posted at 12.03.08 13:41:58 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • My comments about Eddie is always tongue in cheek Vincenzo…

    I thought you knew that??? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 13, posted at 12.03.08 13:42:12 by wpw Reply
  • So, just for the record Wes, you also think Eddie is useless…? 😈

  • Comment 14, posted at 12.03.08 13:44:21 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • This is what pisses me off, all these friggin side shows πŸ™

  • Comment 15, posted at 12.03.08 13:45:08 by shark-tank Reply

  • Yeah agreed shartank. Woudl be amusing and interesting if it wasnt costing us valuable wins!

  • Comment 16, posted at 12.03.08 13:45:45 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • i think we might see a player move in the not too distant future, who can afford Burger and JdV. reckon they should waai to the bulls, that way the stormers can continue with their skillful size experiment and the bulls can go back to no 1 haveing regained depth loss. Tell you what Bakkies, Burger and Spies in the same team – throw in Wickus, Pedrie, FdP, Habana and JdV and they will be back to no 1 too.

  • Comment 17, posted at 12.03.08 13:49:01 by cab Reply

  • Thank goodness for small mercies, the Sharks got rid of him 😎

  • Comment 18, posted at 12.03.08 13:50:37 by shark-tank Reply

  • 12.03.08 13:50:37 – shark-tank

    ahmen….image Cheeky hanging around Kings Park wanting meetings with Dick about his son’s future….reminds me of those over interfering fathers in school boy rugby.

    What happened to the cause of the under dog Cheeky?….why doesn’t Luke go play for your EP team, then you can interfere all you like.

  • Comment 19, posted at 12.03.08 13:55:06 by Dive Pass Reply

    Dive Pass
  • #

    So, just for the record Wes, you also think Eddie is useless…? 😈
    12.03.08 13:44:21 – VinChainSaw

    Can you please repeat the question??? πŸ™„

  • Comment 20, posted at 12.03.08 13:55:49 by wpw Reply
  • lol

  • Comment 21, posted at 12.03.08 13:57:54 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • DP
    πŸ˜† I think DM would have put him in his place in a very diplomatic way. 😈
    They won’t go to EP…..the money bags were emptied a long time ago.

  • Comment 22, posted at 12.03.08 13:58:39 by shark-tank Reply

  • True or not true…why is it the Watson’s are always in the middle of a contrversial issue???

    I dont like / rate Watson as a player…ditti Sharks Tank – Thank the rugby gods for his departure from my beloved Sharks!

  • Comment 23, posted at 12.03.08 14:02:57 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • Better for Luke to sign a 12year contract with WP because no other franchise will take him. Sorry WP supporters but I geuss you are stuck with him for a long time πŸ™„

  • Comment 24, posted at 12.03.08 14:07:01 by shark-tank Reply

  • I suppose its just adding to the “PROBLEMS” hehehehehe

  • Comment 25, posted at 12.03.08 14:09:49 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • 😈 😈 😈

  • Comment 26, posted at 12.03.08 14:10:45 by Charlie Reply

  • 12 years?

    Are you serias?

    Fook me somebody needs to be shot for that.

  • Comment 27, posted at 12.03.08 14:11:30 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Luke is one day gonna probably hate his father. Every time he is just settling down and playing some rugby – and we start to see him as a rugby player – along comes dear daddy and drags his name into the press for all the wrong reasons. And makes them both look like first class tossers into the bargain.

    Or maybe he is cut from the same cloth as the old man and welcomes the intervention.

  • Comment 28, posted at 12.03.08 14:13:34 by yossarian Reply

  • πŸ™„ sorry Charlie…….try contracting him to the Valke, the hard turf may just pull him right πŸ˜•

  • Comment 29, posted at 12.03.08 14:14:06 by shark-tank Reply

  • 12 years?

    Are you serias?

    Fook me somebody needs to be shot for that.

    12.03.08 14:11:30 – VinChainSaw

    Why ❓ You want him for longer ❓ πŸ˜†

  • Comment 30, posted at 12.03.08 14:18:35 by shark-tank Reply

  • :mrgreen: :mrgreen: :mrgreen: Shark-tank

  • Comment 31, posted at 12.03.08 14:28:49 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • “I have a few questions:

    – first and foremost: WTF does it have to do with Cheeky Watson how popular Schalk Burger is and his position in the Stormers side?”

    Haven’t you gathered he is the head of the Gravy-trainerati (Saffa version of the Illuminati)… there is none more scary than a white-who-thinks-he-is-bleck-and-is-a-heppy-cleppy-bible-besher-when-he-is-not-pulling-in-BEE-checks’… now do you own any farms?

  • Comment 32, posted at 12.03.08 14:32:32 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • “This is believed to have irked Springbok teammate De Villiers, who wants a higher profile in the public eye and the media.”

    I don’t believe that for a minute!!!

  • Comment 33, posted at 12.03.08 14:36:17 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • on’t believe that for a minute!!!

    12.03.08 14:36:17 – bryce_in_oz Edit

    Just to clarify – you dont believe Highlights de Villiers wants to be in the public eye?

  • Comment 34, posted at 12.03.08 14:45:59 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Vincenzo… I don’t believe JDV has anything against SB… highlights and photo-spreads aside…

  • Comment 35, posted at 12.03.08 14:55:59 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • Hope you’re staying away from that West Ealing hashish Vin… looking at your avatar… lol!

  • Comment 36, posted at 12.03.08 14:57:41 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • I cannot believ ethat this article is genuine.

    Anyway who is the source of this junk?

  • Comment 37, posted at 12.03.08 15:08:11 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Salmonoid… is that Inhaca in your pic?

  • Comment 38, posted at 12.03.08 15:14:24 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • I’m a bit confused by this one.

    I’m sorry Vinnie, but Granger has been shown up as inaccurate a few times, and I personally know of some writers who rate him as highly as de Koning.

    That said, I dont believe that he sets out to publish untruths; just that his info is sometimes wrong (unlike mine).

    I dont particularly like the Watsons, but this is a lot to swallow about them. Im really unsure if I believe it or not, but if its true, there remains no clearer sign that Luke must never wear the Green and Gold.

  • Comment 39, posted at 12.03.08 15:15:10 by Big Fish Reply
    Big Fish
  • BRYCE – its Kosi Bay….

  • Comment 40, posted at 12.03.08 15:29:44 by Ice Reply
    Competition Winner Ice
  • BF,

    There’s way too much detail in that article for it to be made-up.

  • Comment 41, posted at 12.03.08 15:34:26 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • Thanks Ice
    Bryce – we seem to be missing each other, but then what are coool blonde secretaries for.

  • Comment 42, posted at 12.03.08 16:42:48 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Hi Salmonoid… so I wasn’t too far off then… looked like the view from Inhaca to the mainland… great pic all the same…

  • Comment 43, posted at 12.03.08 16:55:38 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • I’m with you Salmonoid, this kind of skinner can be very destructive… especially for Province… even if there isnt a grain of truth here, it starts a ball rolling that ends up with everyone belittling Watson or Jean innocent or not, and ignoring their genuine rugby skills

  • Comment 44, posted at 12.03.08 17:24:46 by spykerbaard Reply

  • so I have picked the Chiefs to win, just by the way… πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 45, posted at 12.03.08 17:31:22 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Yep, the warm waters of the east coast of Africa – very special.

  • Comment 46, posted at 12.03.08 17:33:20 by Salmonoid Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Salmonoid the Subtle
  • Ha! Lauaki benched and another fetcher selected in his place. I was RIGHT!

  • Comment 47, posted at 12.03.08 17:34:52 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • I am amazed that these kinds of fatherly dialogs happen in professional rugby.

    During my schooldays, one teammates father spoke to the master and captain and contended that his darling son was not getting a fair shake. Whether it was true or not (it wasn’t – he was as crap as me) is irrelevant.

    Anyway the chap never lived it down.
    He was embarrassed as hell.

    I wonder if Luke approves of his dads interference.
    Can you imagine if all the daddies went and demanded stuff from Rassie.

  • Comment 48, posted at 12.03.08 22:10:41 by Biscuit Reply

  • where did you go to school, Biscuit?

  • Comment 49, posted at 12.03.08 22:31:12 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Robd,
    sent you some mail
    got the auto reply

  • Comment 50, posted at 12.03.08 23:40:40 by Duiwel Reply

  • I replied, Duiwel πŸ˜‰

  • Comment 51, posted at 12.03.08 23:59:07 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Cheers Robd,
    going to have a look.

  • Comment 52, posted at 13.03.08 00:00:33 by Duiwel Reply

  • Cheers Boet,
    looks self inflicted,
    thought as much.

  • Comment 53, posted at 13.03.08 00:08:01 by Duiwel Reply


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