Luke: Super Rugby ridiculous

2011-05-18 07:50

Stephen Nell

Cape Town - The structure of the Super Rugby tournament is "ridiculous", advantageous to Australian teams and disadvantageous to South African sides.

That is the view of the Kings' Springbok flank Luke Watson, who revealed on Tuesday that some of his former team-mates in Bath had spoken to him about the possibility of also playing Super Rugby.

"Some players have already spoken to me about the possibility of coming. I think everybody loves Super Rugby. You get people in England who claim to hate it and criticise it, but it's only because they are in denial," said Watson.

"You also get others that openly say it's where they want to be.

"I do think that most people will agree that the structure is ridiculous. Some teams don't get the opportunity to play against the weaker sides and therefore lose out on 5 or 10 log points."

Watson believes South African teams are at a disadvantage with the tough nature of their derbies, while Australian sides have it easier in that regard.

"South Africa have the most physical teams, while Australia's teams could easily pick up points against the Melbourne Rebels and Western Force. I think they should re-look at the structure of Super Rugby. There is maybe too much rugby and it's played at pace with high impact," he said.

"You can see in the attendance figures that too much rugby is being played. It has also lost prestige because you play teams (from your country) more than once and there is no longer that feeling of 'I'm going to get you' (between local sides)."

Watson, however, praised the immense depth of South Africa's talent pool and believes no side in the world should touch the Springboks if they pick the correct team.

"Dan Carter and Richie McCaw leave major voids at the All Blacks if they are injured. South Africa coul easily replace the majority of their players. We're in a very strong position if we pick the right team and it's managed correctly," he said.

He believes South Africa should still look to expand their depth and options ahead of this year's World Cup.

"It's actually ridiculous that a guy like Duane Vermeulen is yet to be given an opportunity. He has probably been the most consistent loose forward in South Africa for the past two or three seasons," said Watson.

"Yes, we have good loose forwards, but surely he could play a Test or two.

"I’d also like to see how Patrick Lambie goes at flyhalf in two or three Tests, while Peter Grant also deserves an opportunity."


  • Darksyde - 2011-05-18 08:01

    Shut up idiot. Noone cares what you think.

      BCC - 2011-05-18 08:05

      Agree 100%.

      Francois - 2011-05-18 08:12

      It appears as if you did.

      Democrat - 2011-05-18 08:49

      I care what he has to say. He does make sense, even though you may not like him! Your response indicates to me that you are a bigot (Look that up in the dictionary.)

      adam.leighton - 2011-05-18 09:06

      Why is it that the ones who "dont care" are the very ones that have the most to say. If you dont care, shut it. Luke Watson may be a chop, but he is not affraid to open his mouth. The rest are too affraid to open their mouths as it may close their bank accounts.

      Noitol - 2011-05-18 09:56

      Who is this Noone person anyway ...?

      Pierre - 2011-05-18 10:07

      Darky , I also dont like pukey but one should read his comment before shooting the man down in flames . Maybe just this once he is saying something that carries weight .

      Andy49 - 2011-05-18 10:09

      @Noitol why do you need/want to know then?

      Gambit9 - 2011-05-18 10:43

      Don't form your emotional opinion on the head line alone - read the rest of the article it is nothing but positives for SA rugby.

      MrMojoRising - 2011-05-18 20:48

      Dude, the guy makes sense. Stop focusing on his past for crying out loud.

  • BCC - 2011-05-18 08:04

    What a loser, the so called physical SA teams havent all beaten the Force. Just another whining south african, and one that isn't a particularly good player (just connected to the bosses).

      Mike Oosthuyzen - 2011-05-18 08:17

      He is saying we are more physical, not nessisarily better, there is a difference BCC!!!! But you probably don't understand that.

      BCC - 2011-05-18 08:31

      I understand that it was a typical "we are so good" comment that doesn't have any merit, but you probably wouldn't understand that Michelle!

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-18 11:54

      I think Luke is trying to get the Rabid Watson Hater's Brigade on his side, by pointing fingers at the Ausies. Nice one Luke, if you tell them you don't like Januarie, Aplon and Jacobs, they will be shouting for you to lead the Bokke.

      Grant - 2011-05-18 12:01

      What' he's saying dum-dum, is that when a strong aus team plays against a weak one, they come away with an easy win. When a strong South Africa team plays a weak one, they might get an easy win, but pick up injuries in the process. Travel alone has always made super-rugby harder on the SA teams, but the current structure is just dumb. If you wont acknowledge that, its simply because you dont want to!

      Jason - 2011-05-18 14:03

      @BCC you'd have to be retarded to not realise that the new format favours the nation with the weakest teams. Aus currently has Force, Rebels and Brumbies which are a garuanteed 4 points for any of the top sides. SA only has Lions, and NZ doesnt really have any very weak sides ... so what does that mean? Reds and Tahs have the easiest road to top 6 out of all the teams in the comp. The new format was designed to ensure Aussie teams dont get left out of the finals every year so they can keep Aussie support going and generate more money for the comp.

      StaalBurgher - 2011-05-18 14:20

      @BCC, you clearly have no idea what you are taking about.

      MrMojoRising - 2011-05-18 20:49

      Howzit, what the hell is wrong with Aplon?

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-18 21:29

      MrMojoRising: Aplon is the number one wing or fullback in SA. PDV and the other selectors must just decide who the other two must be that make up the back 3. Jaque Fourie is the only other SA back who would inspire fear in international teams. There are good players in the other positions, but these two have the killer instinct - the X factor that people rave about. What you think?

      JustinD - 2011-05-19 16:45

      You are such a big beck hiding behind your PC!!!!!!! Tell him he is a loser to his face and he will knock your head of your shoulders, you are just a little wimp with fu*&ll balls.

  • U1 - 2011-05-18 08:08

    Go away, go far away.

  • Craig44 - 2011-05-18 08:14

    He may be a bit of a chop, but sadly... He is making sense. Why play twice against the same team. It's unecessary and just increases the chance for injury and more importantly causes fatigue that will come back to bite us during the World cup. Agree with him about Duane Vermeulen. Then again with PdV nothing surprises me anymore... Definate finalist for the Darwin award.

      Fruit - 2011-05-18 08:36

      Yup agreed. Definately not fond of this oke. But I'm not fond of this new structure as well, which was btw proposed and pushed by the Aussies.

      Grant - 2011-05-18 12:02

      Also agree. When I saw the headline I immediately thought he was up to his old "puke on the jersey" antics. Almost grates me that he's said something worthwhile this time.

  • Francois - 2011-05-18 08:15

    Luke, if you are now the self appointed selector as well as Sanzar respresentative for SA, first you can choose yourself (which you will) and then there will not be a place for Duane. Then if you have South African rugby so at heart, how come you are entertaining bringing Poms here especially to the Southern Spears who is going to be our AA side?

      RobinHood - 2011-05-18 08:25

      All our sides are AA - the Kings will only be worse

      Creeky - 2011-05-18 08:52

      Bath is MISSING AN IDIOT!

      kurtvs - 2011-05-18 09:27

      Where does he mention bringing them to the Spears?

      Bad1hq - 2011-05-19 10:14

      I doubt that the spears will be a AA side (as promised), but it will most definitely be the new shopping centre for the bigger Franchises!

  • burtfred - 2011-05-18 08:23

    Luke has only just returned to SA and already he is being given airtime and publicity. Nobody, except his ANC dad, his wife and some cadre pals want to know his opinion. Just shut up and go play your rugby in your soon-to-be DA governed Port Elizabeth.

      kurtvs - 2011-05-18 09:28

      How you wish!!!

      MrTeaCan - 2011-05-19 09:00

      Dont involve politics in this you prawn,we are talking rugby here

      Francois - 2011-05-19 23:38

      You read his opinion ansd out of context replied on it. Prophecy is not for you.

      Francois - 2011-05-19 23:38

      And it appears spelling is not fro me.

  • riseupwakeup - 2011-05-18 08:25

    For a man who has many truly idiotic things to say, for once he does have one thing correct and that is that the new format of Super Rugby is not as fair as it could be. For a South African side, during the regular season, each team misses the opportunity to play at least one of the New Zealand and Australian sides. A great miss if it's the Reds and the Blues but a missed opportunity if it is the 'Canes and the Rebels at home. This needs to be changed back to the old round robin format. If I want to watch local derbies I will watch the Currie Cup.

      StaalBurgher - 2011-05-18 14:39

      You know what I really like about the new "like", "dislike" function we have? Journalists can see where the public stands on issues like this; as is reflected by your thumbs ups! They tried hard to sell the new format but people want to see our teams pitted against Oz and Kiwi teams. Currie Cup is for derbies.

  • Justin - 2011-05-18 08:27

    Welcome back to SA Luke. I read an article that you'd come back more mature etc etc, and yet you seem to think that the public are ready for you to open your mouth and start making wild media statements - and that people are actually going to listen and respect your opinion. Think again boet. The only way you'll ever develop any respect from your former countrymen, is if you keep your opinions to yourself, reaslise that we're no longer living in apartheid SA and you're no political demigod, put your head down and do what you are actually capable of - playing rugby. If you do that well and develop EC rugby over a period of a few years, who knows, the SA public may be willing to forgive you. In the meantime, the media's guns are out, so get off facebook, twitter, and any other media, and go and do some work for a living.

      Democrat - 2011-05-18 08:53

      So, if you are inviting Luke to keep his opinions to himself, why do you not do likewise?

      kurtvs - 2011-05-18 09:29

      I think Luke has more support then you can imagine, it is all in the numbers.

      Howzitekse - 2011-05-18 12:03

      Justin the time when people like you got to say who could talk and who could not ended in 1996. Nobody can stop you from hating and spewing venom, so go for it, and thank the ANC for your freedom of speech, while you are at it.

      Bad1hq - 2011-05-19 10:33

      Howzit, love the way you join in and make it all political and spewing a worse kind of venom! Luke made his own bed a long time ago by attacking the Springboks not the DA. I am at least glad he finally realised the format of Super rugby has changed and is now echoing the exact same comments we all had last year, when they were proposing to change the structures. What a waste to have read this article, I really hoped there were going to be some gossip worthy content but all I read was that he has the same opinion about the matter as most SA teams...only a year later. Is this really news worthy?

  • landieman - 2011-05-18 08:32

    And thats why he plays for the kings

  • william.maseloane - 2011-05-18 08:41

    Come on now Puke, it's not really their fault that SA rugby is more physical. Writing off the AB shold Carter get hurt is not a wise move at all, we saw what the Crusaders did without him. Rebels are not really the new kids on the block, just a new team with experienced players, wait till they have their feet firm on the ground. We also had what one could consider a weak side few years ago.... Cats.

  • BardofAvon - 2011-05-18 08:43

    When is this guy gonna realize that he is media fodder? He must learn to speak in measured tones and avoid emotive words. Luke, treat everything you say like it's a press release. 'Cos it is.

  • scud - 2011-05-18 08:44

    What the guy said a few years back was ugly and plain stupid. But he has apologised,and is now making sacrifices to improve rugby in the EC. Give him a chance. One point that we all forget--when Jean de Villiers,WP captain,was offered a chance to play in Ireland,he left immediately.When Watson (then WP captain) signed for Bath,he insisted on completing the Currie Cup season with WP before going to the UK-that shows a sense of loyaly and commitment--I also think,watching him in England,that he is underrrated. None of this jutifies his nasty and insulting words,but he seems to have repented--lets give hime a chance-if he behave then ok,if not,then he has blown it.

      StaalBurgher - 2011-05-18 14:40


      Oukoos - 2011-05-18 19:36

      Well said!

  • Martin - 2011-05-18 08:45


      Noitol - 2011-05-18 10:06


  • Luckybugger - 2011-05-18 08:51

    You first class idiot, you not even playing super rugby yet you are whinning, you have always been a whinger, our teams have always propped up the bottem of the log, besides it is only the last couple of weeks the weaker SA teams are starting to perform, why don't you sod off back to Europe you NOB-WAD

      Exzim - 2011-05-18 09:11

      You should actually call yourself Unluckybugger, because you must have been at the back of the queue when they handed out brains! Everyone is entitled to an opinion, and Luke's are accurate and incisive. As for Carter and Mc Caw, if they are unavailable it is a major loss to any team as they are undoubtedly the world's best in their respective positions. That said, the All Blacks cannot miss taking the World Cup this year...that is why at 7/10 they are the shortest priced pre-tournament favourites ever.

      Luckybugger - 2011-05-18 09:31

      Exzim unfortunatly when you make your opinion public you will come under fire, and if you have the track record Watson has best you shut the f#*k up, he is the one that wanted to puke on his BOK jersey when it was presented to him, if it was that bad why did he wear it?, and wen't you the guy that was behind me in the queue when the left-overs were handed out.

  • Pauljay - 2011-05-18 08:56

    Nel, don't call him a Springbok flank ok?

  • Marcell - 2011-05-18 09:07

    MNET cares.

  • MTG - 2011-05-18 09:08

    Sour Grapes, purely because none of the 15 teams wanted him, thats why he is playing for the Kings. Besides when the pawpaw really hits the fan, his daddy will bail him out of the media frenzy again. Grow up Luke. I know another South African who can't seem to keep his mouth shut when he has nothing of real value to say and his name is Julius.

  • ARRA - 2011-05-18 09:28

    I agree with puke in some of his comments -true I think the Northern players would like to play in a S15 francise to get more experience why not -if good enouth let them join-it will bring more experience and value to most of the teams down the log. Then just a idea ,why dont they use the second round in SA derby in place of CURRIE CUP ,less game time for players and you can rest your Springboks for TRI-NATIONS and other test matches

  • HAC - 2011-05-18 09:30

    En Steffie, die skootbrakkie, blaf: "Luke!, Luke!, Luke! Dit is darem lekker om 'n private beeldpoetser te hê wat alles opslurp wat jy uitkots

  • dante - 2011-05-18 09:39

    i agree luke.but i still dont like you:-)

  • GT - 2011-05-18 09:47

    Fact- S15 format is a complete charlie foxtrot. (google it) quality over quantity is a recipe lost on the Rugby and Cricket bosses.... and TV people

  • Lourens - 2011-05-18 09:50

    I agree 100%!

  • SX137 - 2011-05-18 09:57

    Mischevious and misleading headline by the Jurno designed to stoke the fires of hatred for Luke Watson.

      RobinHood - 2011-05-18 12:50

      This must be Cheeky's alias

  • Crusaderinvader - 2011-05-18 10:00

    The same issue is being highlighted over here in NZ..

  • Marius - 2011-05-18 10:01

    Puke is a disgrace and indignity to rugby, why is he still in the spotlight? Why is Sport24 doing this? We do NOT need Luke's comments or thinking.

  • Grunk - 2011-05-18 10:05

    Ah, Luke, anybody but you saying this would get a helluva lot more credit for some of the points you make. Unfortunately, you are you and will never be accepted by the rugby public for what you did.

  • majoor - 2011-05-18 10:13

    Surely there must be better Rugby news than this snot?

  • elspeth.hassall - 2011-05-18 10:41

    For once I agree with him! Aust. are at an advantage AND there ARE tooooomany "local derbies" the Bulls & the Sharks playing each other twice in a matter of weeks! The S14 format was much better! The Aust. wanted another team...but they have 2 weak teams and do not have the depth in local players to support maybe, those from the Northern Hemisphere, who want to play Super rugby can take a trip down under!

  • Andre - 2011-05-18 11:03

    Ek stem saam met wat wat Luke te se het, maar sy kommentaar kon van enige ander persoon gekom het. Duanne Vermeulen speel konstante goeie rugby maar is hy tans beter as die Cheetahs se no8. Pierre Spies is egter die man in die saal en sal nie sommer vervang word nie. Fourie du Preez gee hom genoeg ruimte en dit is waar hy sy beste rugby speel. Hy sal egter sukkel met n ander no9.

  • Stufflé - 2011-05-18 12:11

    Luke - grrr, grrr, GRRRR!

  • ferenc.polgar - 2011-05-18 12:23

    No worries 2013 the SA sides can pick up extra points when the EP Kings join........

  • Andre - 2011-05-18 12:28

    To throw up or not to throw up, that is the question. Puke has an opinion on everything and falls in that familiar category of either you like him kwaai or you hate him with a passion, much like Naas in his heyday. In my opinion a definate maybe for anc ward counselor in the next election but first let us see if he can still play rugby. The crap that dished up for rugby week after week in England comes nowhere close to what we have here in the southern side.

  • roboman1 - 2011-05-18 13:14

    Bath, please come and fetch, someone has escaped from your asylum and we do not want him here!

  • Philip - 2011-05-18 14:15

    I think that what Watson is saying makes absolute sense. anyone who is judging what he is saying before they read it are as arrogant as Watson previous comment about the bok jersey. I also agree that it is ridiculous that players like Peter Grant and Duane Vermeulen havent been given international oppurtunities. cant wait till Pdivy gets fired as bok coach

  • StaalBurgher - 2011-05-18 14:19

    Luke is entirely right. I hate all the derbies being played.

  • GraemeBB - 2011-05-18 14:40

    Luke is right - the teams should only play once. The S15 is too long with all these derbies. A pitty Luke had so much to say a few years back. He will never live it down. Even though he seems like he has come to a reasonable and positive place in his life, I remain scepticle about his agenda. Nothing is what it seems, and seldomly is these days.

  • dosso - 2011-05-18 16:24

    what an idiot - can't keep his big trap shut for 1 minute

  • 4man1 - 2011-05-18 16:37

    Don't come home Luke...all is not forgiven. Stay in the UK and keep away from your old man.....and politics. You also don't deserve to comment on the Bok team.

  • Tolla09 - 2011-05-18 16:58

    for once he does have a point...

  • Dwyn - 2011-05-18 19:55

    Just shut up you Idiot... yo could never play Rugby... now yo wanna talk it... Go and kill more people on teh farm.. thats what you good at

  • MrMojoRising - 2011-05-18 20:50

    Glad this guy is back, The Springboks needs his leadership skills more than ever now.

  • SportCritic - 2011-05-18 20:56

    Luke, you're right about the S15 structure favouring the Aussies & about the Springboks to make the right selections for the RWC due to ample depth in SA - lets just hope Pdivvy realises this eh?. Concerning Duane Vermeulen you're unfortunately way off the mark. He is one of the most over-rated players in SA because he is predictable (always, always just run straight into the opposition) and he never ever pass the ball (his nickname should be 'Bostik'). He has no individual brilliance and as such should not be even close to be considered for Springbok honours!.

  • Can-Iwi - 2011-05-18 21:01

    He's not the first to have highlighted the disparity in the Super Rugby conferences - Alister Coetzee, S.Burger, Eddie Jones (ex wallaby coach), and Jamie Joseph (Highlanders coach), have all said the same thing - the Australian conference is the weakest in terms of competitive sides. They lack enough quality players to sustain five teams. Yes, it's all artificially manufactured so that each nation has at least one team in the top six to maintain spectator interest in all three countries. The extra local derbies are meant to maintain more local interest, but serve Australia as a defacto Currie cup/ITM cup, as they don't have a domestic competition. The "not playing all of the teams" is meant to lessen the travel in World cup year, but travel is always going to be an issue, and i'm not sure how you get around that other than to scrap Super Rugby all together and maybe have the best sides from each nations domestic competition play each other in a shortened format ... but then the revenue from Super Rugby is lost

  • Marc Flowers - 2011-05-18 21:26

    Luke is the english version of Steve Hofmeyer. Steve should rather have joined him in the bath. Stormers have been better without him and so has SA in general. Put him in the zoo with his buddies Steve K Hofmeyer and Juju - we need some entertailment now that the lections are over and the politicians have already gone back to sleep.

  • Tracer - 2011-05-19 06:17

    fortunately your opinion is worth absolutely f all here Puke.....stay in your b grade rugby division where you and your knob father belong.

  • Desiree - 2011-05-19 07:07

    What An Idiot.

  • - 2011-05-19 08:21

    @ Everyone, if you would like to comment more comprhensively on this issue sumit an article to otherwise visit our site and tell us what you think. We have just relased our first edition.

  • Gavin - 2011-05-19 09:11

    I have to agree with some of the comments here that he may be a "chop", but I do agree with what Mr Watson says about the current format. Let's face it, play the Bulls twice, or play the rebels twice? Gooooo Sharks.

  • Grey B - 2011-05-19 09:41

    Hhhuuuuuu, Hhhhuuuuuu, Huuuuaaaawww, I just puked all over my rugby jersey, but he makes relevant points. And also, who cares, all those facts are general knowledge in any case.

  • Heinrich - 2011-05-19 10:11

    this article should actually read .."springbok (not chosen on merit, but brokered by daddy) flank... " Unlke Bakkies Botha who can light a fire by rubbing two ice-cubes together; Puke will always be aware that everyone knows he did not earn his cap on merit - shame.