Luke: Don't go overseas

2011-05-17 18:10

Cape Town - Former Springbok and Stormers flanker Luke Watson feels South African players who want to play abroad should rather remain on home soil.

After two seasons in the English Premier League, Watson formally announced his return to South African rugby on Tuesday at a media conference.

The former Sharks and Stormers and Bath captain will be playing for the Southern Kings after he decided against extending his contract with the English club.

Watson said that an overseas stint helped players to develop their game but he felt they went abroad essentially for financial reasons and would serve South African rugby better if they played locally instead.

"There is no doubt that players go abroad because of better salaries but the game locally is poorer off without them," said Watson.

"It must, therefore, be a challenge for South African unions to offer more competitive salaries and that will make the game so much more competitive.

"Besides, the game will grow when better players remain in the SA game."

Watson left South Africa a controversial figure after he allegedly said he had to "stop himself from vomiting on the Springbok jersey" in 2008.

He had since apologised for his mistakes in a media interview last year.

Watson on Tuesday said he had not thought of playing for the Springboks again but he would not turn down the opportunity if it came his way.

"I would do so very proudly if I can play for the Springboks again but it's not something that's been in the back of my mind," said Watson.

"My goal is to help the Kings achieve Super Rugby status and then attract good players."

Watson said he had been following the new Super Rugby season and he felt that "too much rugby" was being played.

"The matter of too much rugby being played needs to be addressed and the format is such that some teams don't play each other, which means that the prestige of certain clubs facing each other in a match has been lost."

In the past season, South African players such as Brian Mujati, Schalk Brits and Joe van Niekerk all performed well in Europe and Watson felt they should have strong claims for inclusion in the Springbok team later this year.

He said it had not an easy decision to leave Bath but he wanted to be part of rugby's growth process in the Eastern Cape which, in the near future, will attain Super Rugby status.

An initiative by SA Rugby to help grow the game in the Eastern Province will see the Kings play in next month's IRB-sanctioned Emerging Nations tournament to be hosted by Romania where Watson will make his debut.

The Kings replaced the Emerging Springboks as South Africa's tournament representative.

"There have been many people (back in England) who questioned my sanity for giving up what I had at Bath to return to Port Elizabeth but those close to me know what the region means to me," said Watson.

"Playing for the Kings is a wonderful opportunity for me as a player and as a person.

"I played for Eastern Province as an 18 year-old and was schooled at Grey in PE."

Watson believed the region had a lot of potential and untapped value to contribute towards South African rugby.

"The Eastern Cape region has good (rugby) schools and universities and we must ensure that they (the players) stay at home (in the province)."


  • Kaapie - 2011-05-17 18:16

    I watched Aviva and Ehiniken cup and compared to S15 it is quite crappy..

      AH - 2011-05-17 18:40

      Its "Heineken" and in the main it's pretty good quality rugby.

      Andy49 - 2011-05-17 18:54

      I wonder why M-Net/DSTV screen their games every wee-end then, must be really crappy?

      Francois - 2011-05-17 19:06

      I thought the article was about Luke Watson and players that play overseas. Thank you for the insight, oh wise one!

  • Anton - 2011-05-17 18:25

    What is the real reason son, didn't Bath renew your contract, maybe due to lack of performance? Just wondering...

      !!Vrystaat!! - 2011-05-17 18:26

      Considering the bigger unions in South Africa not interested in him so that he must go play for Kings, kinda might suggest that.

      scud - 2011-05-17 19:00

      nonsense-watching him on tv it was obvious that he just had a great season

      apie - 2011-05-17 19:38

      Not only performance. Puke is known to be a volatile person who cannotr work in a team. Now chubby cheeky (daddy) can try to keep him in check. No other province wants him anyway.

      Carl Muller - 2011-05-17 20:21

      He played outstanding rugby in Bath. Glad he is back. He is an asset for us..

      Joe Soap - 2011-05-17 21:58

      Don't suppose it has anything to do with Cheeky being the chairman of the Spears? Once involved with the ANC then nepotism becomes easy....

      Lucky Strike - 2011-05-17 22:04

      Ai, Ai Ai boys. The guy just had a brilliant season and he is taking a cut in his income to come and help strengthen rugby in the Eastern Cape & South Africa and all we can discuss is based on uninformed statements. He has chosen to play in the Eastern Cape and he has apologised for what he said more than a year ago. Can we not forgive somebody and then accept them back to grow our rugby.

      MrTeaCan - 2011-05-19 09:18

      Shows how much you know Anton,the guy had great perfomances there and he was also captain,whats the ANC got to do with that?

  • Andre - 2011-05-17 18:27

    Thats rich ............. scuse the pun!

  • Grayman - 2011-05-17 18:38

    Do as I say, not as I do!

  • Guy - 2011-05-17 18:54

    I wonder whether he vomited on the Bath jersey too. Give that man a Bib.

      scud - 2011-05-17 19:00

      ugly -he apologised-that took some courage

      BrokenLink - 2011-05-17 19:35

      naah, we have some great honest rugby players who can make the team based on skill, not political mumbo jumbo. He can go back overseas, the Stormers are doing great without him.

  • - 2011-05-17 19:00

    The man is preparing to get himself in for the RWC. Helium has most probably already received Another Notorius Call.

      firefighter - 2011-05-17 22:26

      I fear that you might be right. I do know that he is absolutely despised by the other Springbok players.Let us hope that a small ray of light gets into the thick skulls of the SA Rugby bosses

  • Johann - 2011-05-17 19:16

    There is no spot for him in Bok squad, no matter how well he performed at Bath. LOTS of brilliant loosies in SupeRugby whwere the pass-mark is so much higher.

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-17 19:39

      The passmark not so high. Spies and Stegman are springboks. Luke in a class above them. How did they become Boks?

      Raymond - 2011-05-17 19:59

      I agree,absolutely right,we have an abundance of International class loose forwards the moment.Sorry Luke,no place for you.

      Warren - 2011-05-17 20:06

      The ANC will select him again, they have ofcourse made much worse decisions before! To Puke: Thank you for not joining my team!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • FerretGee - 2011-05-17 19:28

    He's been back for five minutes and already News24 has had TWO articles about him. Whilst it may not be of his doing, he has already received more publicity in the last 24 hours than is warranted. he should have quietly returned and gone and plied his trade with the Kings instead of being paraded in front of the media so that all the old woulnds can be opened up all over again. Fact is there are two camps, those that love him and those that hate him and every article will be followed by a host of comments from both sides.

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-05-17 22:11

      I'm ambivalent towards him.

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-05-17 22:21

      I find him Luke warm at best

  • nohorse - 2011-05-17 19:30

    Welcome back Luke!!

  • RAW - 2011-05-17 19:33


  • BrokenLink - 2011-05-17 19:33

    Dear Luke. Please go overseas. We dont want or need you here. Sincerely, Everyone.

      apie - 2011-05-17 19:39


      Raymond - 2011-05-17 20:01

      I think he should join the Bulls !!!!!!!!!! there are some really hard okes in that pack.

  • Cliff - 2011-05-17 19:58

    Big mouth is back!

  • baika - 2011-05-17 20:20

    Players who go and play overseas do ethet because they can make more money there or because they cannot make the boks here because of affirmative action sorry, error do it !

      Lebo - 2011-05-19 16:40

      Yeah but that wouldn't be the case in Luke's case as he is considered 'Black' (by virtue of his Dad's participation in the 'freedom struggle'). So in Luke's case I guess it was purely for the money...Besides, it can't be all that hard for white players to get into the springboks seeing that they account for roughly 85% of the entire Boks team ;-)

  • Carl Muller - 2011-05-17 20:22

    Hey guys, this guy humbled himself and apologized. Let us give him a chance. Boer's son and Bulls forever.

  • subjective-denotation - 2011-05-17 20:46

    our future Bok captain, oh hail the King.

  • firefighter - 2011-05-17 22:10

    Puke Watson obviously couldn't make it there either.

  • vicj - 2011-05-17 22:25

    Percy came back a much improved player and played a big part in winning the world cup. Sharks got rid of you, Stormers sucked up to you and White was forced to play you. Is this another ANC ploy for votes?

  • Sprokie - 2011-05-17 23:28

    Now you see Luke, you don't have patriotism nor pride for this country and the Springboks.. And that's why you packed your bags and left. Now you are back telling everyone to stay.., WTF?! Unlike yourself, not all South African rugby players is in it for the money, but more for the honor of putting the green & gold over their shoulders. You probably just came back to vote for the ANC tomorrow.. Hopefully Daddy can pull some strings for you, because SA is going to be a tough chapter for you!!

  • Joe - 2011-05-18 00:59

    If this here DOOS shows up in the Bok team again, I support the other team.

      Adop - 2011-05-18 17:03


  • realitycheck888 - 2011-05-18 01:21

    Pretty cheeky (pun intended) to say that local players should stay at home and help to develop the game instead of taking the pay day overseas when you've just spent a couple of years feathering your nest with wads of euros. Hopefully he puts his money where his big mouth is and donates the riches he collected at Bath to rugby development in the eastern cape. Seems like P Divvy will at least have a contender for column space in the media now as I'm sure that Luke will welcome the opportunity to share his pearls of wisdom with the greater public. I can't wait.....

      Andrew Griffiths - 2011-05-18 04:19

      Last time I checked Bath was in England and people were paid in pounds. Just a reality check.

  • Stefan - 2011-05-18 02:00

    Puke Watson , You are one of the wa@nkers that likes bringing in POLITICS into sport !! Well Done !! SPORT SHOULD NOT HAVE COLOUR , ONLY IN S.A !

  • Blackboy - 2011-05-18 07:58

    Welcome Back Luke - Now I can watch Rugby again. Luke for Springbok captain.

  • AdolfX - 2011-05-18 07:58

    I just Luked a little bit in my mouth. ..F#&king hypocrite

  • BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 08:46

    Give a dog a bad name and hang him.

  • Crusader Man - 2011-05-18 09:05

    Thanks for the advise Luke.. We just stopped Dan Carter from going oversas.. He was going until this article.. Cheers we owe you a BEER... Happy as in NZ Carter resigned for 4 years.. Can see him winning quite a few games on his own... Hopefully Luke this will also make McCaw stay in NZ as well.. Yahoo :-)

  • majoor - 2011-05-18 09:45

    Why is this monkey getting so much airtime? It's very arrogant for this oak to say our players should not go overseas after he's made a couple of bar there. Looks to me as if he's aiming to become a politician in the long term. I wouldn't put it past him considering the gene pool that he was spawned from...

  • Daniel - 2011-05-18 12:49

    I really want this guy back in the BOK team, will be nice to have some balls back in the team

  • Adop - 2011-05-18 17:02

    Typical, he made his money now suddenly he wants to look after the greater good of rugby, - player mustn't go overseas. Anyway he should not be called a springbok since a vomited on the jersey.

  • wbs777 - 2011-05-18 19:08

    Here we go again......a new dog and pony act by Puke Watson. If he's included in the Springbok team, I'm becoming an All Black supporter

  • Steve Wonderboy - 2011-05-18 19:10

    Reading this article it appears like he has grown up. What is up with all the haters?

      docadrian - 2011-05-19 05:39

      we haven't....(grown up yet) :-)

  • Draconian - 2011-05-19 10:09

    Yep, you'll always have a job as long as daddy is in power, or unless he steals the club blind, in which case, a win win situation! they both go home rich!!!!

  • M.C. - 2011-05-19 13:27

    So you have made your money and all of a sudden advise players to stay in SA, not really fair is it?

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