Just hours after being officially relieved of the Stormers captaincy, flank Luke Watson was in hot water at Newlands for wearing rival Nike logos to those of team sponsors Adidas at a training session.

On Monday the Stormers players were belatedly told the worst kept secret in Western Province rugby at their training camp in George that Watson would not captain the franchise in next year's Super 14 and that Jean de Villiers is the new skipper of the side.

The decision was actually taken at a meeting between the coaches almost two months ago, when it had been decided that Schalk Burger would be the new captain.

However, at that stage it was believed that De Villiers might not be fit to start the Super 14. The Springbok centre has subsequently made good progress from the bicep injury that he suffered at the World Cup and is training with the squad and coach Rassie Erasmus reverted to De Villiers as his original choice as captain.

Watson, however, was photographed by Die Burger in a Nike cap and wrist sweatband at a training session where the players are only permitted to wear the gear of official kit sponsor Adidas.

Nike is Watson's boot sponsor, a personal choice the players can decide.

The conspiracy theorists are already having a field day. Was it a deliberate act of petulance, defiance or rebellion on Watson's behalf, they ask, or merely an innocent oversight?

Either way, this is the professional era of modern sport and neither Adidas nor WP were impressed when the picture (far left), taken at practice at Northerns Parow last week, was published on Wednesday alongside a shot of De Villiers wearing an Adidas cap.

"The players are fully aware of their obligations to team sponsors and we have dealt with the matter in accordance with our code of conduct," said WP managing director Rob Wagner.

Wagner declined to say what action was taken.

Adrian de Sousa, marketing manager of Adidas, would only say that the company had spoken to Western Province Rugby Union and were satisfied that the matter had been dealt with.