Luke Watson on match against Blue Bulls

PUBLISHED: January 11, 2007

A match against the Bulls could never be described as a friendly, says Vodacom Stormers captain Luke Watson.

Watson will be leading his side on Saturday at Loftus in Pretoria in their first warm-up match for the Vodacom Super 12 competition.

The flank on Thursday said a game against the Bulls would never be a friendly because the rivalry between the sides is too intense.

“These warm-up games don’t count for much, but the Bulls will come out firing and we will come out firing. That is just the nature of games between the two sides, but we are looking forward to it.

“The guys want to go out and enjoy it,” said the man who was South Africa’s Vodacom Super 14 player of 2006.

Turning to their objectives for the game, Watson said the most important thing for the Stormers was to get their structures right.

“We want to get our structures right and our rhythm going. Thereafter it could be a different story, but we want to play our style of rugby and get our pattern right.”

He said the depth in the squad ensured tough competition for places this season. “Ja, the guys are looking forward to the season and know there is competition for places. That is a healthy situation when players push each other for places.”

The captain was glad to have Schalk Burger back in the team after the Springbok missed a big portion of last year’s season due to a serious neck injury.

“I am very glad to have him back, it is fantastic. He is incredibly competitive and one of the best players in the world, so he obviously adds to our depth and lends more experience to the team.”

Watson said he was happy with the way the Stormers performed in the training match against the WP Vodacom Cup side on Thursday morning.

“I was very happy. It was always going to be quite loose and quite expansive, but the skills on display were phenomenal.

“Guys like Werner Greeff, JP Joubert, De Wet Barry and also Peter Grant played brilliantly. Those were the guys I watched and they impressed me.”

The Vodacom Stormers medical team has confirmed that winger Chumani Booi sustained anterior cruciate ligament damage to his right knee in the practice session on Thursday morning in Bellville.

A MRI confirmed the diagnosis. The injury will require surgical intervention. Rehabilitation is expected to be between 5 – 7 months.