Port Elizabeth - Kings coach Alan Solomons announced on Tuesday that Luke Watson is the new captain of the Eastern Province rugby team, this was confirmed ahead of Friday's Currie Cup friendly against Free State in Port Elizabeth.
Watson takes over from fullback Mzwandile Stick, who captained the side since De Wet Barry's injury last season.
Watson was always earmarked to lead the new-look Kings and therefore Solomon's announcement does not come as a surprise.
Solomons said he needs a captain who is close to the action and that makes Watson the logical choice. Stick said he had no problem with Solomon's decision. "Im here to plough back into my community and I have a job to do for EP.
"I will always give my best shot for the Kings, as captain or just as a player. I will support Luke wholeheartedly. No doubt about that," Stick said.
Meanwhile, former Free State scrumhalf Falie Oelschig joined the Kings from Stade Francais and will face his old team come Friday.
His halfback partner is Louis Strydom, who is also an ex-Free Stater.
Another surprise is the inclusion of former SWD Eagles winger Joe Breytenbach.
Breytenbach is believed to be on trial with EP, but he is such a strong runner with the ball that he should be a big acquisition for the PE outfit.
It is also good to see flyer Norman Nelson back in the starting line-up. He was one of EP's stars last season, but was sidelined with injury for most of the season.
Eastern Province Kings: 15 Mzwandile Stick (vice-captain), 14 Norman Nelson, 13 Siyanda Grey, 12 Wayne Stevens, 11 Joe Breytenbach, 10 Louis Strydom, 9 Falie Oelschig, 8 Luke Watson (captain), 7 Devin Oosthuizen, 6 Jacques Potgieter, 5 Ross Kennedy, 4 Barend Pieterse, 3 Clint Newland, 2 Hannes Franklin, 1 Jaco Engels. Replacements: 16 Frank Herne, 17 Riaan Vermeulen, 18 Wayne van Heerden, 19 Jacques Engelbrecht, 20 Danie Faasen, 21 Shane Gates, 22 Jaco Bekker.
Free State Cheetahs: 15 Philip Burger, 14 Nico Scheepers, 13 Phillip Snyman, 12 Johan Goosen, 11 Cameron Jacobs, 10 Riaan Smith, 9 Tewis de Bruyn, 8 Boom Prinsloo, 7 Pieter Labuschagne, 6 Pieter Myburg, 5 Izak van der Westhuizen, 4 Francois Uys, 3 Trevor Nyakane, 2 Michael van Vuuren, 1 Marcel van der Merwe. Replacements: 16 Schalk van der Merwe, 17 Hercu Liebenberg, 18 JC Astle, 19 Willie Britz, 20 Piet van Zyl, 21 Robbie van Schalkwyk, 22 Ryno Benjamin.