Butch James quits Test arena

2012-04-16 15:01
Butch James (File)
Johannesburg - Veteran Springbok flyhalf Butch James, a member of the Rugby World Cup winning team in 2007, has decided to retire from Test rugby with immediate effect.

James is the most capped Springbok flyhalf, having played 37 of his 42 Tests for South Africa in the No 10 jersey since making his debut against France in 2001. His last Test for the Springboks was at the Rugby World Cup 2011 as a replacement against Wales. He was also a member of the Golden Lions team that won the Absa Currie Cup last year.

The 33-year-old James said the decision to retire from Test rugby was not easy.

“I’ve had a great career playing for South Africa, the Sharks, Bath and the Lions, but I’m not getting any younger and I knew this was the right decision to make, even though it was very difficult,” said James.

“I think I’ve got one or two more years of rugby left in me and all I want to concentrate on at this stage is to give nothing less than 100% on the field and enjoy my game.”

“I’ve been fortunate to have a long career playing at the top level and I’ll look back at my time with the Springboks with nothing but fondness.”

Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who invited James to the Planning Camp that started in Pretoria on Sunday, said he was sad to see someone with James’s experience retire, but that he respects the player's decision.

“Butch was an integral part of the Springbok team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and he’s been a great servant of the game over more than a decade. He contacted me to inform me of his decision to retire and I respect that,” said Meyer.

“I really wanted to have him here with us, as he brings a wealth of experience with him and it would have been great for many of the younger players to work with him, but I understand that he wants to concentrate on his career with the Lions and I can’t fault that.”

James made his senior provincial debut in 1999 for the Sharks. He represented the team from KwaZulu-Natal in 65 provincial and 57 Super Rugby matches. He also played for the Golden Lions (3 provincial and 11 Super Rugby matches), as well as 68 games for English club Bath.

Apart from his 42 Tests, James played one non-Test for the Springboks. He also represented the South African Under-21 side in 1999, when they won the SANZAR-UAR Tournament, and 2000, the SA Under-23s in 2000 and the SA 'A'-team in 2002 and 2003.

Read more on:    springboks  |  butch james  |  rugby

LIVE: Fiji v Uruguay

24 minutes ago


Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.
Live Video Streaming
  • Blitz
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @00:00
  • SS1
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @01:00
  • SS2
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @02:00
  • SS3
    Mon, 24 Nov 2014 @03:00
Video Highlights
Sport Talk
Most Read


Rugby World Cup 2015

All the action from the 2015 RWC, including live coverage of all 48 matches, breaking news, fixtures, results, logs - and much more!


Rugby World Cup 2015

Romania rally to down Canada
Lancaster upbeat over Burgess' union future
LIVE: Fiji v Uruguay
Scotland primed for Samoa
Previous Results

Date Home Team Result Away Team

The Springboks bounced back in emphatic fashion against Samoa. How far do you see them now progressing in the tournament?

/World Cup
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...


Take a photographical trip down memory lane and remind yourself of how the Springboks fared in their five previous Rugby World Cup campaigns. In addition, pick your all-time Springbok Rugby World Cup Dream Team and you could win R3 000!

Latest blogs

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

iPhone Latest Sport24 news on your iPhone

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.