Cooper in Butch's crosshairs
Butch James (Gallo Images)
Durban - Butch James has pledged to do his utmost in the Springbok defensive effort to extinguish the threat of Wallaby flyhalf Quade Cooper.
James, 32, known for his bone-crunching, sometimes dubious tackles, has just finished serving a four-match suspension after he was banned for a month for a high hit on former Sharks team-mate Keegan Daniel.
Speaking to Rugby Heaven website
James admitted that he may need some assistance from his team-mates to shackle the wily Wallaby dangerman.
"It's tough to play against a player like that. I haven't played against him since he's been on fire this season," he said.
"He's very difficult (to read). You've just got to pick one side and hope that's the side he was going to go.
"But you do need your mates around you to help you out in situations with him around so that when you do go up, if he does cut on the inside, one of your flankers or someone else is there to make the tackle."
Starting at flyhalf in this week's key Tri-Nations clash at Kings Park in Durban, James said he was not too worried about perceptions about his tackling technique, and would not alter his approach.
"Those sort of tackles happen all the time, in nearly every game, every weekend," he said.
"It was a reflex high tackle. I'm not too worried about it. It wasn't like I went out there for a high tackle."
"It's not playing on my mind and I'm pretty happy with
where I am at the moment in regards to my discipline and remaining cool
on the field."
James said he wouldn't be giving Quade Cooper any special treatment.
"My main job as a 10 is to control the game and to do my job in the team," James said.
"Part of that is to make my tackles and defend that 10 channel. So whoever comes down there I'll try and defend it and make as good a tackle as I can.
"But I want to try and stay cool-headed."
Meanwhile in the Wallabies camp, fullback Kurtley Beale sang Butch's praises and lauded his physical approach, but hinted that the Wallabies had special plans in store for James.
"He's definitely a brutal defender, a very, very feisty defender," Beale said.
"We're obviously very aware of his defence. Hopefully I'm going to stick out on the wider channels away from him."
"In saying that, we've got plans for him around that. Even though it's a strength of his game, it can be a weakness."