Vodacom Super Rugby
Kings demote Watson to bench
Luke Watson (Gallo Images)
Port Elizabeth - Kings captain Luke Watson has been relegated to the bench for their Super Rugby match against the Cheetahs in Bloemfontein on Saturday.
"After a bad ankle injury last season, Luke worked extremely hard to get his fitness up to speed," said Kings coach Alan Solomons.
"Then he suffered the throat injury against Western Force and that made fitness training impossible for a while. He again trained hard and came through the Vodacom Cup match against SWD unscathed and we decided to use him for 40 to 50 minutes in his first game back."
Watson was replaced at No 8 by Jacques Engelbrecht but Solomons said he would definitely come off the bench against the Cheetahs.
Centre Andries Strauss will lead the team at the Free State Stadium.
"With the Cheetahs match up-country, there is the altitude factor and in discussions with the conditioning and medical staff, it was decided it would be more appropriate for him to come off the bench against a team who play at pace and with a high tempo."
Engelbrecht's inclusion was one of several changes made to the team which lost to the Bulls 34-0 on the weekend.
Wing Sergeal Petersen remained sidelined with a lingering groin injury, giving Siyanda Grey a chance on the wing, along with Michael Killian, who had recovered from injury.
Marcello Sampson would sit out and Ronnie Cooke, who had been doing duty on the wing for the past few matches, returned to centre in place of Waylon Murray, who was named on the bench.
Besides Watson, the only other change in the forwards saw Rynier Bernardo replacing David Bulbring in a rotation move.
15 George Whitehead, 14 Siyanda Grey, 13 Ronnie Cooke, 12 Andries Strauss (captain), 11 Michael Killian, 10 Demetri Catrakilis, 9 Shaun Venter, 8 Jacques Engelbrecht, 7 Wimpie van der Walt, 6 Cornell du Preez, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Steven Sykes, 3 Kevin Buys, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 Schalk Ferreira
Substitutes: 16 Virgile Lacombe, 17 Grant Kemp, 18 David Bulbring, 19 Luke Watson, 20 Nicolas Vergallo, 21 Waylon Murray, 22 Siviwe Soyizwapi