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Luke sympathises with Lions supporters
January 29, 2013, 16:41:20

Ex Supersport

Kings captain Luke Watson has said that Saru's decision to relegate the Lions was unfair and expressed sadness at the Lions' Super Rugby exit.

Speaking to SportsTalk in a radio interview, Watson sympathised with the Lions' plight, and said fans had every right to feel aggrieved.

“I’ve always prided myself on seeing both sides of the story, and I can understand how Lions fans could become quite frustrated and angered at the inclusion of the Kings because the way in which it was done was not fair,” Watson said.

Watson said the Lions' Super Rugby exit saddened him.

“I watched the Lions this weekend and it saddens me to see such a great team, with so many great players (excluded) just as they were coming back on the rise, winning a Currie Cup, playing so well and gaining momentum,” Watson said.

“Even now it saddens me because I look at a lot of players that had to go to the Bulls, to the Stormers. It’s not fair on them and it’s not fair on Lions supporters, so I can understand Lions fans being irritated and anti the Kings. It’s perfectly understandable.”

Watson said he understood the hostility towards the Kings, but felt that the blame lay at the feet of SA Rugby's leadership.

“There are loads of Lions fans who would love to see us fail. I can understand that.”

“It was never our goal or purpose to get the Lions excluded. Our desire was to be included. In our minds it was never us versus the Lions. (We wanted) to bring top-flight rugby to (the Eastern Cape),” Watson said.

“The leaders and the decision makers at SA Rugby decided that this was the best way forward," Watson opined.

Watson said that that with players like Andries Strauss, Steven Sykes, Demetri Catrakilis and Bandise Maku he felt the EP Kings could be competitive in Super Rugby, but did not play down the size of the challenge facing his team.

"Super Rugby is the fastest provincial competition in the world. Nothing quite comes close to the speed and tenacity of Super Rugby," Watson said.

Controversial slur apology


Southern Kings' rugby captain Luke Watson has expressed remorse about his controversial and disparaging slur about Afrikaners in 2008, Beeld reported on Tuesday.

He was recorded, without his knowledge, saying that the problem with South African rugby was that it was run by "[removed]men".

"I'm very sorry I said that. It's one of the things in my life that I most regret," he told Sports Talk in a radio interview on Monday.

"There comes a time when you need to raise your hand and say 'sorry, I messed up'. It touches me deeply that so many people still support me," Watson said.

"However, I can't go from door to door to tell every South African I'm sorry. It's important for me to go through life with integrity. I want it to be the legacy of my family and my life.

"I do think that at the time, the media twisted my words unfairly. They benefit from sensation," he said.

Watson left South Africa in 2009 for the English club Bath, but after a few successful seasons he joined Eastern Province in 2011.


What a mess it all is.

sasuke uchiha

Status: Rugby Legend
Posts: 5836
RE: Luke sympathises with Lions supporters
January 29, 2013, 17:46:11

nice article.


im sure we cal agree that the media more often then not take a lot of things out of context, its the number one rule in cheap tabloid headlines. its even more understandable how that could have happened given certain communities in SA love/hate relationship with the watsons.


my fave SA team has always been the cheetahs, i was a huge fan of os du randt and never missed any of his games, the lack of love that the kings are getting from their own countrymen are really tugging at my empathy stirngs. i hope the kings do well in the spXV.

i didnt know that bandise maku was playing for the kings, thats awesome news, i always liked him when he was playing for the lions.


i wish the kings and thier captain luke watson aka South Africas greatest rugby player the best of luck for 2013, Lord knows theyre gonna need it.

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