THE Super rugby season is now over for us South African fans, but let us start analysing the situation.
Firstly, and without a doubt, the Bok side is actually leader-less. The ideal candidate, John Smit, is not worthy of a place in the World Cup squad.
Secondly, what other leader is there? An over-the-hill Victor Matfield captained a good all-round team, but was never a great leader.
Thirdly, Schalk Burger, as good a player as he is, is not a good captain, and like Matfield has limited ability to read a game and change the plan and tactics on the field.
Burger is the only form loose forward, which includes the No8 position, which brings me to my point! Juan Smith and Heinrich Brussow have not played much rugby this season, and John Deysel and Keagan Daniels are not up to international standard.
The same applies to Francois Louw. The answer therefore is Luke Watson.
He captained a very successful Stormers side in 2009 and was the Super 14 Player of the Year. He has recently captained Bath successfully in the English Premier League.
He has returned to the EP Kings and will surely lead them in 2012. He is currently, with Burger, the best flank forward in SA rugby and can also be used at No8.
The other thing that he has that no other South African forward has at the moment is leadership ability and he was very popular in England. The fact that he was slightly outspoken at a younger age, and statements that at times were a trifle silly have been acknowledged and apologised for.
This player now deserves his chance as the only genuine leader in any SA rugby franchise, but I, like many others, know that politically it will not happen in time for this year’s World Cup. I can assure you come 2012 Watson will be there and for a few years to come.
Let’s all get behind him, because irrespective of what the old brigade Springbok squad and the likes of someone like Jake White have to say, they will no longer be around and the team will have to have a leader come 2012 and Watson is that man. There is nobody else.
Clive Muller, Hamburg, Eastern Cape