Butch relishes Kings Park trip
Johannesburg - Lions centre Butch James, in a rare run-on start, will face his former team when the Sharks host the Johannesburg side in their Super Rugby clash in Durban on Saturday.
James will receive his first Super Rugby starting berth for the Lions this season against the coastal side, where he played for eight seasons.
“Growing up as a Durbanite, I love playing at Kings Park," James said.
"The atmosphere is great there, the fans really get into it, and I'm sure they'll get stuck into us as a team.
“It's their first game at home (this season) so they'll want to play for their fans.
"They've had two close losses - they could've won either one of them - and they really need this game to bounce back, so they'll be up for it as they always are against us.”
Lions coach John Mitchell selected James ahead of Alwyn Hollenbach who has become a presence in the midfield.
"I think Alwyn (Hollenbach) is more physical than I am, but I think against the Sharks you have to be physical," James said.
"And at 12 I'm also going to try help Elton (Jantjies) out, and help organise the forwards around that middle channel.
“I'm going to try and bring everything that's needed at 12.”
James, playing outside his more familiar position of flyhalf, will aim to assist Jantjies on his outside.
“It's quite hard when you're playing at 10 and no one is talking to you on the outside, so I'll try talk and be as vocal as I possibly can," he said.
James, 33, came off the bench in the Lions' first two games of the season, and despite conceding the match-turning penalty at the end of the Hurricanes game last week, he will relish the prospect of a full 80 minutes.
“I had 20 minutes in the first two games, so maybe I can play the full 80 minutes this weekend," he said.
James said the penalty he gave away was on his mind, but he was ready to move on to the next game.
“I know I gave it away. I couldn't stop thinking about it the whole weekend but it's a new week so hopefully I'll put it behind me and don't give away any this weekend.
"That's always my aim - nought penalties - but I was only on for 20 and I gave the winning penalty away so I was pretty disappointed.”
The former World Cup winning Springbok flyhalf said he would not be helping with any of the place kicking this weekend.
“I'll help out in general play and that's as far as it will go," he said.
"The rest of his (Jantjies's) kicking has been brilliant.
"These youngsters, I don't know what they're doing, but they kick that ball unbelievably well.
“So I'll stay out of that department - kicking for poles - and when the time is right in general play I can use my boot as well.”
15. Riaan Viljoen, 14. Odwa Ndungane, 13. JP
Pietersen, 12. Tim Whitehead, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9.
Frederic Michalak, 8. Keegan Daniel (captain), 7. Willem Alberts, 6.
Marcell Coetzee, 5. Ross Skeate, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Wiehahn Herbst, 2.
Bismarck du Plessis, 1. Dale Chadwick
Substitutes: 16. Craig
Burden, 17. Jannie du Plessis, 18. Anton Bresler, 19. Jacques Botes, 20.
Charl McLeod, 21. Meyer Bosman, 22. Paul Jordaan
Jaco Taute, 14 Deon van Rensburg, 13 Doppies La Grange, 12 Butch James,
11 Michael Killian, 10 Elton Jantjies, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Warren
Whiteley, 7 Joshua Strauss (captain), 6 Derick Minnie, 5 Franco van der
Merwe, 4 Marius Coetzer, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 Patric
Substitutes: 16 Martin Bezuidenhout, 17 Caylib
Oosthuizen, 18 Stephan Greef, 19 Cobus Grobbelaar, 20 Tian Meyer, 21
Alwyn Hollenbach, 22 James Kamana