Carr vs Watson

Both players will have very different but potentially match-shaping roles to play in Port Elizabeth on Friday, writes BRENTON CHELIN.

At just 23 years old Carr has his best days ahead of him. Having been forced to play at flank for much of the Super Rugby season, he will finally get his shot in his favoured eighthman role for the duration of the Currie Cup.

Blessed with a good turn of pace and great hands in the tackle, Carr provides a valuable link between the forwards and backs for his side.

He has proven himself a game breaker already this season, most notably during his Man of the Match performance against the Bulls at Newlands. If he can carry his Super Rugby form into the Currie Cup, he could well be one of the players of the season.

His opponent on Friday is at the other end of the spectrum. At 30 years of age, Luke Watson is approaching the twilight of his career. He is unlikely to represent the Springboks again but his dream of lifting the Currie Cup with Eastern Province has become a possibility following their inclusion in the Premier Division.

His presence as a leader on the field will be crucial to his side's chances against his former team. What Watson gives away to Carr in terms of physical presence, he makes up for in experience and know-how. As a retreaded openside he'll play to the ball and will be looking to prevent Province from achieving the quick ball they'll need to release their dangerous outside backs.

It's likely to be a fascinating battle and while Watson may have the upper hand at the breakdown, he may not be able to match Carr for his work around the park.

Photos: Ryan Wikisky/Gerhard Steenkamp/BackpagePix