E. Cape needs Super Rugby, so I’m staying — Watson

2013-08-08 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Luke Watson is committed to the Southern Kings cause and eager to help make them regulars in the Super Rugby competition.

The Kings were relegated from the southern hemisphere’s premier competition, despite beating the Lions 23-18 in their second promotion-relegation match at Ellis Park last week. A 26-19 home loss the previous week meant they lost out of points difference and now face another year out in the rugby wilderness, while the Eastern Province Kings are also in the Currie Cup First Division.

This led to an exodus of some sort in the last few days, with a number of Kings players signing with other unions.

However, Watson — who played no part in the promotion-relegation play-offs due to a foot injury — said he is now even more committed than ever to the Kings’ cause.

“Just because we were relegated, it doesn’t mean things will fall apart. EP rugby has gone through a lot of improvements.

“We need to keep progressing and prepare for next year’s play-offs. I want to be part of that process.

“Many people out there believe I’m doing this to get a clean slate. But this mission is not a personal one … it’s for a greater cause,” he said.

Watson’s contract with the Kings comes to an end next May. But despite receiving lucrative offers abroad, he will stay in Port Elizabeth.

“If the Kings secured their place in Super Rugby, I might have been more motivated to accept a deal to move abroad again. But the challenge isn’t over. [The] Eastern Cape needs Super Rugby, and I want to help the team secure their place in the tournament.

“The fans deserve it — all those thousands and thousands who showed up every week … There are talented players coming through too,” said Watson.

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