Bok hands tied on Butch saga

2010-06-02 14:16

Cardiff - Bath flyhalf Butch James has been formally withdrawn from the Springbok team to play Wales at the Millennium on Saturday, on the insistence of Premier Rugby.

According to the Telegraph website, Premier Rugby, the umbrella organisation for England's Premiership clubs, has a blanket policy of not releasing players for Tests not governed by the IRB's regulation on player release.

Saturday's game is a fully sanctioned Test match but falls outside the recognised IRB international June window, which only obliges clubs to release players for international duty for the last three weekends of the month.

Bath, who were more than happy for James to play, have been forced to follow Premier Rugby's directive by informing James he must return to the club.

James, who has not played Test rugby since 2008, now misses his chance to stake an early claim for Rugby World Cup recognition next year.

As a result of Premier Rugby's decision, the Springbok management will be forced to revise their starting XV for the Wales Test. The revised team is expected be announced on Wednesday afternoon. .

Bulls duo, fullback Zane Kirchner and lock Victor Matfield, will join the Springboks squad on Thursday as replacements for James and Stormers lock Andries Bekker respectively.

Munster's Jean de Villiers, originally named the Bok squad, has already been forced to withdraw. His place was taken by Stormers centre Jaque Fourie.

The full Premier Rugby statement reads:

The situation on release of international players for the June window is clear under IRB Regulation 9.

The release of players is required for matches on the second, third and fourth weekends of June and for five clear training days in advance. This release is intended for matches being played in the Southern Hemisphere.

The first weekend in June is not part of the IRB release period and Unions have no right to release of players from the Clubs.

In the interests of Player Welfare, which the IRB Woking Accord made the top priority, this first weekend was intended under the Regulation to be a period of travel for the Players so they would be in best condition for the June tests in the Southern Hemisphere.

This now appears to be compromised by international matches being arranged in the Northern Hemisphere for apparently commercial reasons.


  • Don't need him - 2010-06-02 14:33

    What's all the hoohaa about? There are at least 3 flyhalves better than this bloke.

  • THE VOICE - 2010-06-02 14:35

    Good riddance - only P DIVVIE knows what "Butchey" has done to get a nr 12 spot in the BOK team ... good grief ... this is beyond words! The man is TOTALLY, TOTALLY yesterday ... and then at nr 12 nogal! Heavens ... this is BIZARRE!

  • Premier League se Gat - 2010-06-02 14:36

    This is another shameful bureaucratic intervention, what happened to a players own will to play rugby. NO player should be stopped from playing for his own country.....if he is fit and good enough then international games should take precedent no matter what. Not some stupid english League ruling! This makes me want to kots.

  • Joe - 2010-06-02 14:44

    Butch should never have been selected in the first place. As much as I dislike WO, he would have been a better choice. Bosman can fill in that position as well. WO imo should be competeing for the n.13 berth with Fourie.

  • Brandon - 2010-06-02 14:45

    Who the ### are they to tell US when OUR player can play?

  • Francois - 2010-06-02 14:57

    So why were the English players released for the game against the Barbarians over the weekend?

  • Jurg - 2010-06-02 14:58

    I agree, we have other players who need a chance. I also think Victor should have been rested, while giving other guys the opportunity to impress.

  • Ant - 2010-06-02 14:59

    He was picked at inside centre, not flyhalf !

  • @dont need him - 2010-06-02 14:59

    He is the flyhalf that represented SA in the 2007 world cup team that won you chop. He carrys the ball like no other flyhalf and causes players like dan cater to think twice. Morne steyn is good but not that good he just kicks all day. Lets give the international players a chance to prove themselves.

  • Ridiculous - 2010-06-02 15:00

    This is absolutely ridiculous. Even if the intention is that the first weekend should not be part of the international window, the onus should surely be with Bath whether Butch can play or not.

  • Adams - 2010-06-02 15:01

    Doesnt make sense, it refers to Southern Hemishpere tests? Or am I missing something, but this is Northern and should have separate rulings. Probably the Welsh and English trying to weaken the boks but.... , Steyn and Fourie centre combo, a world cup winning combo, I will take that.

  • Sean - 2010-06-02 15:02

    Grant is better than james anyway let him go his way past he's sellby date. Grant, Steyn and bossman. GO Bokke GO.

  • tomk - 2010-06-02 15:02

    yet another reason not to select overseas based players unless they are really in their own league...

  • Kruger - 2010-06-02 15:02

    @don't need him! At least the lad wants to play for his country! I suppose you are a fan of putting in a player of Benni MCCarthy's calibre who only wants to play in the glamorous games. I bet you are one of those idiots who will find fault with every team no matter who gets selected, Smit over the hill, Burger to ugly, Aplon to small, Du Preez to bald. Cant you just support who the people that count actually chooses. SHMUCK!

  • Duh - 2010-06-02 15:03

    Gosh SARU - you couldnt think of a replacement better than him? Try the Bulls....Try WP...... ,,,

  • OPTIMIST - 2010-06-02 15:06

    At least we can now play a full 80 minutes of rugby without a yellow card

  • woody - 2010-06-02 15:07

    All those Butch detractors - lets not forget a flawless performance during the last world cup. Flawless!!!

  • Philip - 2010-06-02 15:07

    @ Brandon...........because they pay him

  • @Don't need him - 2010-06-02 15:08

    hoohaa hoohoohaha

  • Errol - 2010-06-02 15:10

    This just means that we will give Wales a bigger hiding than if we had played 3rd rate James :)

  • Donovan - 2010-06-02 15:12

    This is one of the reasons why I support PDV policy not to select oversesas based players for the Boks. It becomes a tug-of-war between country and club or in this case governing body. The league that these guys play in is also far below Super 14 or Currie Cup for that matter and these overseas based players will struggle to keep up with the pace of test rugby.

  • Martin - 2010-06-02 15:17

    "In the interests of Player Welfare" - Not much in Butch's interest.

  • ASAFFERBOYTILIDIE - 2010-06-02 15:18

    Lets face it. This match is completely meaningless. A week after the bruising Super 14 Series ends you want the boys to make a 20000 Km round trip for one game! Its just about the money. I might make it round to the Slug in SW19 to watch the game, if I can work a bit of enthusiasm. PS: Note to Slug management...please get rid of Aussie Fosters cats pee and stock some decent lager on tap.

  • Relax - 2010-06-02 15:26

    This is not a bok A team in the first place

  • ockert - 2010-06-02 15:27

    He needed to "rest" to travel to where? --- Blatant misuse of rules

  • Spongebob - 2010-06-02 15:31

    Butch James??? out of all the no10 options SA now has.hahahahahahahahahah,call on Ruan man.Honestly

  • Emile - 2010-06-02 15:33

    Who is running the show in Europe? The clubs or the national rugby federations. How is it possible that clubs are allowed to dictate? No wonder their rugby is so up to shit, because it all boils down to money and power trips.

  • DILLIGAF - 2010-06-02 15:36

    Well this is what you get when you persue big bucks abroad. Though luck Butch, and in any case we have much better talent available in SA.

  • Bokfan4eva - 2010-06-02 15:38

    Oh dear...forgive the negativity, but it seems nobody knows what the hell is going on regarding the planning of the match. If we win I would beVERY surprised. Too much confusion,...You cant just take 15 guys, mix them up and expet them to win.. Its all too rushed for me..

  • @@don't need him - 2010-06-02 16:00

    Morne Steyn just kicks all day? Did you not see the game on Saturday? Oh, but you're probably anti-Bulls. James is a dirtier player than Bakkies ever would be.

  • Al - 2010-06-02 16:06

    What amateurish conduct by SARU! Don't they have professional people in their employ whose job it is to make sure about the status of players they intend fielding? It's like saying "Sorry sir, I forgot to do my homework".

  • Jay - 2010-06-02 16:15

    Why the hell is Kirchner been calles up?? What a Joke!!

  • Zee - 2010-06-02 16:16

    Blessing in disguise!! Much as i used to like him, he is a has-been! We have younger, more deserving flyhalves right here on home soil!

  • terry - 2010-06-02 16:19

    We shouldn't be playing the stupid test in any case - we are doing Wales a favour by slotting in this extra test match. Players like Matfield and Jaque Fourie, etc. should not be included - we should have sent a B team, and if they don't want to release Butch James then they will have to make do with an even weaker South African team.

  • Nick - 2010-06-02 16:28

    Whilst i'm not exactly a huge fan of this ruling by Premier Rugby at least they have realized that these stupid tests are just for commercial gain

  • MR Rugby @@dont need him 2:59pm - 2010-06-02 16:30

    SO FUNNY!! Please look at the stats before you open your mouth and we all can see how empty your head is. Funny enough, if Morne kicks the whole time how could the Bulls score more tries than any other teams in the S14? There is a huge difference in kicking aimlessly the whole time or doing it with a game plan, that obviously works if you look at the results. Looks like it is sour wine coming out of your mouth again. Morne Steyn is one of THE best flyhalfs ever and is up there with the GREAT Naas Botha!! Butch was a great player but he is a has been and MORNE is the FUTURE!

  • JA-JA - 2010-06-02 16:37

    Quite funny this from Premier Rugby, as they released 4 other bath (English) players to play for the Barbarians the same weekend (05/06/2010) against Ireland and playing for the Barbarians is not an official test and neither in the test window either. Do they want the Boks to loose???

  • PC - 2010-06-02 16:43

    Please stop making fools of yourself! Butch was never selected as no 10 he was selected as no 12. Do you guys even know the difference?

  • Claude - 2010-06-02 16:58

    Premier Rugby think that they are putting one over the Boks to make it difficult to settle on the best team but between Steyn and Grant we don't need other flyhalfs. Besides Francois Steyn can be a third cover and at Centre we have plenty of talent.

  • i told yuo so - 2010-06-02 17:16

    He should not have left the country in the first place. It is amaizing how some sports people want to play overseas and only want to play for the Boks or Bafana when he oppertunity arrives for world cup stastus approacheds. I am glad that dear Benni was not selected (sorry to change the subject.) Bucth is much like Bennie as far as attude is concerened. i still say supprot the players who remain loyal to S.A.

  • Marshal - 2010-06-02 17:17

    This is not a meaningless game. It is the start of our WC campaign.

  • Bokkie - 2010-06-02 18:00

    They picked Butch "shouldercharge" James for the "B" team, to show him that he is not good enough for the Real Bok team. This way, the Snor can say, "Lookie here Butchie my boy, you see, you aren't good enough anymore." I agree, Butch is so last season it isn't even funny anymore. M Steyn, P Grant and F Steyn.... we are good to go! Go bokke. Give 'em Horns

  • bath se moer - 2010-06-02 18:12

    not a big loss I watched him fall over his own feet at the Newcastle Falcons- Bath game last year and went out injured for 6 months?

  • Molefe - 2010-06-02 18:45

    Butch James is a has been! What is all the fuss about?

  • Butch is Great - 2010-06-02 18:48

    If any of you plonkers had taken the time to watch Bath play over the last 3 months, you would realise that Butch is actually the form flyhalf. As good as Morne and Peter Grant are, they don't have an allround game to match Butch. As for some comments on Francois Steyn at flyhalf, please take a reality check. Centre, Fullback Yes but not flyhalf. My question is why the english players could play the Barbarians last weekend but other nationalities could not represent their country at a test this weekend. That is ridiculous.

  • Andrew - 2010-06-02 19:26

    I've said this before, but now I actually realize that it is not the rugby gov. bodies around the world that are limiting the game but its supporters. The game can only expand on a large scale once everyone is included. The restrictions on players in the Southern hemisphere as to where in the world they are allowed to play the game, while having to worry about national selection, keeps rugby far behind many other sports in terms of international expansion. Only once we change our views of individuals going to other countries to play their trade, can we really appreciate the vast talent that every country has to offer. The future of international rugby lies in individuals being able to play the game in any country, under any possible condition and on any given day. The Northern hemisphere is leading the charge on this front and its about time the Southern hemisphere get involved. England getting to the last 2 world cup finals (winning one in Australia) is a slight indication of where the power is shifting (North!). Maybe we start small and allow players to freely move between the Tri Nations countries and expand from there. Matt Giteau at no. 10 for the Stormers and Doppies La Grange at no. 12 for the Crusaders are exciting changes that one can expect to view. Playing for your country is an honor and those that want to will still be available. Overseas players that did well at domestically and do so abroad have the ability to adapt, therefore are our biggest assets. Stop the narrow mindedness and lets play

  • Onnie - 2010-06-02 21:16

    You all,take your milk and go to bed. Andrew,sing them a lullaby.

  • Jimmy Crompton - 2010-06-02 22:56

    The premier league are playing games with Butch. This is his last chance to play himself back into the bok team. He will not represent any of the U.K. national teams so it seems to be a vindictive act to limit the Bok's depth. I see no sane reason other then that for their decision.

  • Anarchist - 2010-06-03 07:51

    Playing for your country I suppose is really playing for South African rugby supporters. I can't imagine why Butch would want to play for you idiots.

  • True Rugby Fan - 2010-06-03 08:57

    Observation 1: SA rugby fans short sighted and biased regarding selections - their team player or no player at all!!! So much for a united rugby nation... Observation 2: What are all you plonkers busy doing every day? Working towards your retirement 'fund' - why judge rugby players wanting to work towards their retirement fund in their current 'jobs' - every single one of you would have done the same - how funny that you are so quick to judge... Obeservation 3: Do players select themselves??? NO! Would you turn down the oppertunity to play for your country if you get the call up and say to selectors - thank you, but no thank you - I don't think I am good enough anymore! Come on people!! Bash the selectors if you have to but leave the players to do what they do and love best - play rugby! I am also a Morne and Frans Steyn etc fan - but to all the fans quick to bash past (and present heroes) - just remember - there is going to come a day when Morne and Frans is also going to be at their 'expiry date' - and what are you going to say then?? Bash them too???