Boks: Luke Watson says he won’t be available for Springbok tour to UK

2008-10-26 00:00

Luke Watson said at the weekend that he does not want to be included in the Springbok tour party for the United Kingdom.

The Springbok players and rugby supporters will have welcomed his decision, though there will be those who will have found it cheeky of him to suggest that he might have been selected ahead of players like Heinrich Brussow, Cobus Grobbelaar, Jean Deysel or Jacques Botes by anyone who does not have a politician leaning on him.

Regan Hoskins, president of the SA Rugby Union, said at the weekend that he would not comment on Watson’s decision, which was made to the media and not to the national body. “This affair is sub judice as the player faces a disciplinary hearing,” Hoskins said.

“After serious consideration and prayer, I have decided to withdraw my availability for the national rugby side for the end of year overseas rugby tour,” Watson said in the statement.

Watson faces disciplinary action after he allegedly made inflammatory remarks at a rugby function claiming “that the problem with SA Rugby is that it is controlled by Dutchmen”, that the “bigger picture” kept him from vomiting on the Springbok jersey and that “the men [Springboks] who sit on my left and right of me in the change room despise me for who I am”.

In his weekend statement, Watson said he was the victim of a concerted media campaign to undermine his efforts to highlight the lack of transformation in South African rugby.

“I am withdrawing due to the ongoing controversy that has been deliberately created as a result of my stance on matters of transformation.”

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