Watford defender Lucas Neill has joined Doncaster Rovers on loan until April 22 - just over a month after he signed for the Hornets.

Neill was signed by the club for two reasons; one as defensive cover due to the Hornets' lack of defenders and also for his leadership qualities, which the Golden Boys have lacked this season.

However, the Australian national team captain has only played six minutes as a substitute, although he has been in the 18-man squad for all five matches.

It was made clear when Neill joined the Golden Boys on February 24 that playing regular football was a priority for the 36-year-old as he attempts to secure his place at a third World Cup this summer.

But with Tommie Hoban, Essaid Belkalem and Joel Ekstrand returning to full fitness, Neill found competition for the three centre back places even tougher.

Neill had been training at his former club Blackburn Rovers for six weeks but they were unable to offer him the first-team opportunities he was hoping for.

At the time of signing for the Golden Boys, the former Millwall man revealed there were a few Championship clubs and others abroad who were keen to acquire his services. But said he wanted a Championship club with play-off ambitions and claimed there were only two or three of those.

Neill knows Watford chief executive Scott Duxbury and technical director Gian Luca Nani from their time together at West Ham and they were happy to give him a trial.

When he joined club sources said the coaching staff had been impressed with not only Neill's performances in training but also the way he conducted himself around their London Colney base.

We understand he is on a very modest wage at Watford, with performance incentives based around reaching the play-offs, and that Doncaster are paying all of his wages during the loan spell.

Neill has been capped 96 times by the Socceroos but was left out of the last squad shortly after signing for the Golden Boys.

He spent 14 years playing in England, with spells at Millwall, West Ham, Blackburn and Everton before he left to join Galatasaray for 18 months.

Neill subsequently moved to the UAE, whilst his family remained in England, with stints at Al Jazira, who are run by Manchester City owner Sheikh Mansour, and Al Wasl before briefly returning home to Australian side Sydney before having a four-month stay at Japanese side Omiya Ardija.

Read Lucas Neill's interview with the Watford Observer from when he joined the club here.