Rugby World Cup 2011

Jones: Pick Butch at 12

2011-09-14 07:30
Eddie Jones (File)

Cape Town - Former Australian coach Eddie Jones says the Springboks should pick Butch James at inside centre for their clash against Fiji.

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Centre Jean de Villiers bruised his ribs against Wales and will miss the clash against the islanders on Saturday. This leaves coach Peter de Villiers with a tough decision about who to pick in the No 12 jersey. Juan de Jongh, Patrick Lambie, Francois Steyn or Butch James?

But Jones believes the decision for Saturday's game is clear-cut. "From a South African perspective, the key is finding someone who can play like Jean (De Villiers). Butch (James) can do that. He can make his tackles, carry well and distribute," Jones told the website, RugbyXV.

Jones - who was the Bok technical advisor at the 2007 World Cup - also believes James's boot will provide an extra weapon alongside flyhalf Morné Steyn, as the Boks' tactical kicking would need to be spot-on if they are to avoid the Fijians from launching dangerous counter-attacks.

"To have the option of a second kicking game at 12 against Fiji is also very important. The Boks have to kick off the front foot, not under pressure, to ensure the Fijians don't have a platform to counter."

Jones says he would play De Jongh from the bench, which could give the Boks some much needed spark later on in the game.

"Having Juan de Jongh coming off the bench will also provide impetus. Starting Butch will help Jaque Fourie, who looked the sharpest of all the Bok backs (against Wales)," said Jones.


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