Southern Kings

Watson returns for Kings in Bulls warm up



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Luke Watson will captain the Eastern Province Kings in their Super Rugby warm up against the Bulls at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on Friday.

Watson has been on the sidelines for an extended period with a foot injury but has been named by coach Carlos Spencer in the Kings side for Friday’s friendly match.

Thirty-year-old loose forward Watson has been out of rugby since the Super 15 competition last year, having been hampered by a broken foot bone.

“The injury was actually initially misdiagnosed and I played a few games last year with a broken bone,” Watson said .

“So the recovery has been a long process but I am really excited to be back and looking forward to helping the EP Kings.

“We know we have a long way to go and are far from the finished article, but we are enjoying Carlos’s input and being allowed a bit of freedom in the way we play the game.”

Spencer has made several changes from the team that faced Wales last week and said the matches were a chance to “have a look at all the players”.

After playing the Bulls on Friday, the Kings will host the Sharks on July the 4th before turning their attention to the Currie Cup premier division which starts in August.

“We are just taking it a game at a time and making sure everyone gets some game time,” Spencer said.

“There were quite a few things we needed to work on after the Wales game such as missed tackles, ball retention and better cleaning out, and we have focused on those things for the last week.”

Veteran lock Darron Nell will come off the bench as Spencer has started Steven Cummins and Cameron Lindsay while former Sharks Super Rugby player, Tim Whitehead will make his first appearance for the Kings at outside centre.

Whitehead was considered superfluous to the Sharks’ requirements this season and would be keen to make an early impression on Friday, partnering Dwayne Jenner in the midfield.

Scrumhalf Jaco Grobler would get a chance to start, with Kevin Luiters on the bench, while Scott van Breda, who played wing against Wales was moved to fullback.

Eastern Province Kings

Scott van Breda, Siviwe Soyizwapi, Tim Whitehead, Dwayne Jenner, Ntabeni Dukisa, George Whitehead, Jaco Grobler, BG Uys, Edgar Marutlulle, Simon Kerrod, Steven Cummins, Cameron Lindsay, Thembelani Bholi, Paul Schoeman, Luke Watson (captain).

Replacements: Dane van der Westhuizen, Brenden Olivier, Tom Botha, Darron Nell, Devin Oosthuizen, Kevin Luiters, Shane Gates, Hansie Graaff.

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