Friday 18 May 2007

Luke Watson

This wee scandal of sorts has been brewing in Sud Afriken rugby for a while now but I've only bothered to read into it recently. Initially I thought that this was quite a simple and petty case; the current Springboks coach Jake White didn't get on with Watson's father when they played together in their youth so throwing some kind of bizarre hissy fit he has persistently refused to select his son Luke for the South African national team despite his consistently outstanding form. But it goes a bit deeper than this and I can understand why such a pathetically minor issue has almost spiralled out of control in South Africa, almost claiming as much media coverage as the very first all South African Super 14 final.

It would appear that Lukey boys father was not only a very good rugby player in his youth but also a champion of the anti-apartheid movement. A white man, he chose to play in the black leagues during the height of the apartheid era. With this in mind it becomes a lot easier to understand why such a furor has been thrown up over Watson's selection for the Springboks.

The SARFU president Regan Hoskins went behind White's back and name Luke to the 46 man South African squad for the coming summer tests despite White's concerns that Watson is too small to play flanker in international rugby. The head coach complained further stating that the Springboks have plenty of outstanding flankers already like Schalk Burger and that he had no need for another. Hoskins' decision to include Watson without White's consent has been met with widespread approval in Sud Afrika, especially from the black community. Some of whom pushed for Watson to be included under the 'disadvantaged player' rule that forces the Springboks selectors to pick a set number of coloured players to their squad

It's all a bit messy and my facts may be a bit off because this story is kinda hard to get to grips with but I think that's the general gist of it.

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