Lions target Butch, Jean

2010-05-10 22:30

Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg – The Golden Lions have earmarked 2007 World Cup winners Butch James and Jean de Villiers as potential signings.

Both players are apparently considering joining the union and they are not the only ones that the Lions are targeting.

While the union does not want to confirm or deny the negotiations, GLRU president Kevin de Klerk said that they were speaking to sponsors that can help lure high-profile players.

Springbok captain John Smit apparently spoke to Lions director of coaching Dick Muir earlier this year about a possible joint role of player and forwards coach. There is also speculation linking Smit’s Sharks team-mates Bismarck and Jannie du Plessis to the union.

It is believed that their contracts state that both players have to be accommodated.

Springbok No 8 Joe van Niekerk is also being linked to the union.

De Klerk said that the Lions would have to strengthen their playing and coaching ranks to be able to compete with the Super 14 heavyweights.

“We can’t name anyone, but we are at an advanced stage of negotiations. Some of the players will already be available for the Currie Cup and others at the end of the year.”

Muir regularly worked with De Villiers as Springbok backline coach, while he has close ties with James from his Sharks days.

De Villiers has had a successful spell with Munster in Ireland, while James is playing well for Bath in England.

James last week criticised the poor manner in which the Sharks allegedly negotiated to get him back to South Africa.

He has nevertheless previously said that he will not easily play for any other team than the Sharks.

De Villiers has decided not to extend his contract with Munster and will return to South Africa shortly. He recently said that it would be difficult to play for any other teams than Western Province and the Stormers.

However, if the Lions make a very good offer, De Villiers may well play for them as soon as the Currie Cup.


  • Scaramouche - 2010-05-10 22:49

    Although I highly rate Joe van Niekerk, why would the Lions want to buy more lose forwards? They have more talent their than in the rest of the team and desperately need some quality backs. After everything that the Lions have gone through over the past year (from bogus contracts to a record breaking number of defeats), why would anyone with a decent history want to sign for them. More chance that Jean and Butch will sign for the Spears!!

  • jdevilliers - 2010-05-10 22:56

    PLEASE PLEASE Jean don't go to the LIONS. How can a high profile player even consider this. Of course it's all about the money. Please don't do this to me!!!!!

  • PODL - 2010-05-10 23:22

    Late late April Fools joke?

  • Fleckie - 2010-05-10 23:37

    Lions bugger off and make your own players, useless structures and players throughout the ranks. Jean come back home

  • Lions fan - 2010-05-10 23:39

    I hope it's true??? But it can be too late because of this bad season. They open up the door for kings to come in next season. SAD but TRUE!!!!!!!!

  • Staalburgher - 2010-05-10 23:45

    Look, I will really miss Jean if he goes to Lions. It would be so weird. BUT I also would like to see the Lions do much better and they need more high profile players to do that. Signing 4-5 players that are top level, with the 3 or so players they have already will give them a much better chance. This is pretty much what all the other teams have done. As for the overseas guys... where else are they going to go? The other teams are full for their positions or they have had "fall outs".

  • pretty good team - 2010-05-11 00:23

    If all the rumors are true this will be a pretty good team; 15. C. Spenser 14. Wandile Mjekevu 13. Doppies 12. Jean de Villiers 11. Tonderai Chavhanga 10. Butch James 09. Jano Vermaak 08. Joe van Niekierk 07. Wikus van Heerden 06. Kobus Grobelaar 05. George Earl 04. Franco van der Merwe 03. Jannie du Plessis 02. Bismark du Plessis 01. John Smith This can be a team the lions supporters can be proud of, all they will need then is a new stadium one that will be safe to go to, because they will need a lot of ticket sales to pay for all these new players or at least a R100million in sponsorships. I have to say it will be good for lions rugby if they can get Jean but in the same breath it will be a very sad day at Newlands........

  • @Fleckie - 2010-05-11 01:21

    Do you actualy know the history of 70% of WP players. Yes Mate Lions Union. O yes Habana and Jacques was bread in the cape. Lions need high profile players. Better to have players spread in the unions. This is good for SA Rugby

  • sipo - 2010-05-11 02:39

    career suicide!!!

  • hein Cent - 2010-05-11 04:07

    Carlos , Jean , Butch , all of them near there sellby date. Is the Lions planning to start again building a team for the future. Daar is nie pille vir stupidgeid nie. Are they flyhalf collectors . Butch ,Carlos ,Earl Rose , and none of them can play good rugby.

  • Mooi manne! - 2010-05-11 05:06

    Mooi manne koop dis n prof. sport.As jul nie koop nie gaan die Spears julle vervang.Go Kevin! Weet net nie of Jean daar gaan inpas(hart) nie.Alhoewel ek n groot Jean fan is en gehoop het hy gaan terug WP toe gun ek ook Juan de Jongh sy plek.Sou goed gewees het vir Bok rugby as Jean en Jaque ook op provinsiale vlak kon saamspeel maar dit werk nie altyd so uit nie.Ding is as Jean terug WP toe gaan gaan Juan waai en wil ons dit regtig hê siende dat hy nog jonk is met n great toekoms?Die Lions kort selfvertroue en kalmte en dit sal ervare spelers soos Butch,Jean,Big Jo,Wickus(klaar daar) en die du Plessis broers wel voorsien.Met n kaptein soos John Smit kan dit net goed gaan.Hoop net nie hul raak ontslae van seker die lojaalste Lions speler ooit,Baywatch Grobler nie.Kan net hoor hoe gaan die Bulls ondersteuners nou weer kots oor die kopery maar nou ja hulle verstaan nog nie so lekker die woord prof. nie!

  • Lions are Back - 2010-05-11 06:10

    Time to buy back some players! Stormers and Bulls, the Lions will eat you for breakfast next year.. GO LIONS.

  • Annony Mouse - 2010-05-11 06:15

    Its all very well having these players, but how will they play without the ball ? Lions need props, hooker, locks - as well as outside centre and full back.

  • Lion - 2010-05-11 06:40

    @ Fleckie. Bryan Habana, Jaque Fourie & Ricky January - did the stormers make them. I don;t think so!

  • Question - 2010-05-11 06:50

    Is the current squad going to pay back every sent for the P poor performance they dished up this year? I think that would only be fair. Also get another region to fill there place in the tournament. They might have a record, yes the record nobody wants to have. Sorry bunch of clowns, right to the top of this union. Is it still a union?

  • brad k - 2010-05-11 06:51

    if Lions get these two, they will fully have my support. Sharks are whack for what they did to Butch(Best defensive No.10 in the world BTW!) they need big guns in the team, if they are to ever stand a chance of making it to the top.

  • Blue machine - 2010-05-11 06:52

    Burton francis is a fool with butch coming he will be second choice again!!!!!!!!!!!! Geez lions have francis,Boshof both from the bulls herkie kruger elton jantjies and spencer thats damn 5 flyhaves dear me hahahaha.

  • Dronkie - 2010-05-11 07:32

    a Step in the right direction. I would have signed a younger Ishmaeel -Dollie or Derick Hougaard though as Butch only has about one decent season in him left... I would also look at young talent like Sampie Mastriet / Bjorn Basson (@ fullback and maybe at some one like Fabien Juries to add experience to the lot...a Marius Joubert at centre ??

  • STORMER - 2010-05-11 07:46

    If they can get them, why not? Jean and Butch will only play one season here, then move back overseas (along with many other players post WC) so if these signings ensure a higher placing in the log for the Lions - go for it. I think the Lions should think very carefully though - they could purchase 6 great players for the price of these 2 and perhaps KEEP the 6 post WC. Butch and Jean are only but a temporary filling for the Lions toothache...

  • Joe - 2010-05-11 07:46

    Good for the lions. But I would choose Francis ahead of Mr Money James anyday. Havent watched heiniken rugby because it is quite crap, but has he learnt to tackle properly

  • Up in Smoke - 2010-05-11 07:50

    Jean jy is 'n province boytjie, jou famailie is Bolanders. Die streeptrui is in jou bloed. Ons het jou nodig!!!!!!!

  • reader - 2010-05-11 07:55

    Boot the Lions from the S14 competition, or merge them with the Cheetahs, and please bring in the Kings. Another embarrasing performance by the Lions is not whet we need.

  • Deon - 2010-05-11 08:01

    Great for SA get BJ Botha, CJ van der linde, Francois Steyn, Schalck Brits and a Few other more to bulge up the pack. It's a Well known fact that Good Lock Pairs are the back bone of big teams. Look at all the world cup winners etc. We should start to build there... Come on Lions. Grow back those b*lls that made you the first RSA team to win two super Crowns.

  • lions - 2010-05-11 08:02

    before anyone comments remember how useless and pathetic western province were and how bankrupt they were before someone gave them a cool 7mil (most likely the proceeds from SARU) for two players.. Imagine how much more was given to buy the rest. BTW The stormers are lucky the bulls are resting there top players at least they can still stay in the top 4 then.

  • Lefty - 2010-05-11 08:04

    @Fleckie , the Stomers took Habana and Jacques Fourie , your comment is useless . Calling to make The Lions their own players . YOU TWAT !!

  • piepies - 2010-05-11 08:07

    butch sal noit lions tu gan sy hart by natal sory welpies

  • Shark - 2010-05-11 08:10

    @ Fleckie....a bit rich to ask the Lions to make their own players.....what about Jaque Fourie, Brian Habana and Ricky January? All made at the Lions and now playing for the Stormers.

  • Bliss@ Fleckie - 2010-05-11 08:12

    Fleckie, I take it that you're a Stormer, well in that case don't tell us to make our own players because half our players are in your side. We are actualy a union that has allways been producing our own players.

  • Far and Away - 2010-05-11 08:13

    OOOH, have we hit a little nerve with the Stormer fans...? Are you guys not being a little hypocritical here. You bought a host of players under the auspices of being "professionals in a professional era". Your signings were lauded as genius..... Now, the Lions are doing the same and you are throwing your toys....? You took Jaques so they take Jean..... If you wanna dish it out, man up and take it on the chin. At least be professional about it...

  • Draadsitter - 2010-05-11 08:13

    Hope this happens for the Lions, but only Butch & De Villiers like Scaramouche says the lions have enough talent with their loose forwards they need the back line.

  • Robert - 2010-05-11 08:14

    @ Fleckie.... So it is okay for the Stormers to buy players, but not anyone else.... typical gay boy Stormer attitude! Did your boyfriend not give you one yesterday?? Stormers are like SA cricket - chokers!!! But don't worry.... Bulls B will still thump you on Saturday!!!! Hahahahahaha

  • wondering - 2010-05-11 08:17

    After the Lions poor performance in the S14, aren't they going to be de-franchised like the Eastern Province Rugby. EP was dissolved because they were just so poor. Strange that they then create a new franchise down under, but don't have any players for the team?

  • Justin - 2010-05-11 08:18

    Fleckie, that's rich coming from a Stormers supporter with all your 'imports'. Let's see shall we? Vermeulen, Januarie, De Waal, Habana, Fourie, Naqlavuki etc. Should I go on? The Lions need these players to be able to grow and develop younger players coming through and attract them to the union. You can't have youngsters making up your entire team, you need experience mixed with youth.

  • pieto - 2010-05-11 08:26

    The Lions should become some religious sect. They can specialise in "raising the dead". Every year their management seem to try and find the oldest out of job ex-players (even has-been All Blacks!) to employ for the coming year. Have they no plan other than sticking their fingers in the gaping holes?

  • player32 - 2010-05-11 08:29

    Take all the superstars you want and shove them into the poor lions team, it will still not help their cause. They will still carry on with building a team over the next 100 years.

  • pieto - 2010-05-11 08:31

    The Lions should become some religious sect. They can specialise in "raising the dead". Every year their management seem to try and find the oldest out of job ex-players (even has-been All Blacks!) to employ for the coming year. Have they no plan other than sticking their fingers in the gaping holes?

  • Boss Barry - 2010-05-11 08:31

    I dont ubderstand why the other supporters/unions are complaining, when in Rome do like the Romans do! Buy LIons Buy !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • katman - 2010-05-11 08:37

    Fleckie, while I don't actually see these players ever signing for the Lions, your "make your own players" moan is laughable. I assume you're a Province fan. Where do you suppose Jaque Fourie, Bryan Habana, Anton van Zyl, Ricky Januarie and Conrad Jantjes cut their rugby teeth. And those are just the Lions-developed players (plus the likes of Schalk Britz, Joe van Niekerk and Brian Mujati were also shopped from Jo'burg and have since left). Shall we now move on to Adriaan Fondse, Duane Vermeulen, Frikkie Welsh, Willem De Waal? And I'm probably forgetting a bunch more. Do you see where this is going? Good. Now go back to your corner.

  • Stormer@WP - 2010-05-11 08:43

    Robert,I see you are a typical bulls pc warrior.Lekker bek voor die skerm,maar verdwyn voor die manne.Jy soek seker 'n paar cm daar onder.I know of a lot of gay guys that will blixem you,inbreed.

  • j - 2010-05-11 08:45

    The lions should start investing in their brand(which is gonna need lot of investing),their structures,and keep the players happy to prevent them from leaving the union(or what ever you wan't to call it), buying retired players is not the solution to their problem!!! Hopefully they sponsors will stick to them in tough times, and though the lions is in a very very very bad shape....the southern spears or what ever you wanne call them still has a long way to go to be at the lions current shape.

  • mac-koup - 2010-05-11 08:46

    I am a fanitic LIONS supporter. Its about time we sign some good players. Afterall, the lions could make a Sprinkbok side with all the players bought from us. Conrad Janjies,Bryan Habana,Jauques Fouri,Jaco Pretorius,Andre Pretorius,Rikky Januarry,Joe Van Niekerk,John Smit, Schalk Brits and the list goes on. Its about time we get some good quality players back, and the youth we have coming through, Michael Killian for example, will make us a feared Super 14 franchise.

  • jason - 2010-05-11 08:50

    Hey katman....the players you mentioned might have come from jozi but we merely perfected them here in the cape. So stop moaning and bitching like a team at the bottom of the log...hey wait a minute you ARE bottom of the log. hahahahahaha...lmimp!!!!

  • BE - 2010-05-11 08:51

    When in Rome... nobody can point a finger. Go Lions!!

  • Gtr - 2010-05-11 08:52

    Not so long ago Jean De Villiers said he longs back for the Cape... What's up with that? I don't know if he would go to the Lions. Himself and Jaque Fourie will make the Province backline the most potent in the S14, and I'm sure that would be the best for SA rugby. Going to the Lions might only frustrate him. Was that not one of the reasons that Jaque left the Lions?

  • brianj - 2010-05-11 08:56

    I'd love to see this!

  • @fleckie - 2010-05-11 08:58

    love the phrase "make ur own players". right lets look at this.. two best stormers players at the moment, fourie and habana, which union did they make there names? oh wait, lions... duane vermeulan, where is he from again? oh yes cheetahs... ricky januarie? lions.. and u have that fijian wing aswell.. thats jus to name a few...

  • The Oracle - 2010-05-11 09:31

    The Du Plessis Brothers! - Stay in Dbn please! We don't want player who think they are bigger than the game. Welcome Butch & Jean... We still need a good lock and hooker! John Smit is to old! GO LIONS!

  • Danny - 2010-05-11 09:39

    I am just glad Rose is not part of the Lions S14 plans anymore. Previously they have blammed him for all the Fu*ups, but since he is gone they have surely improve, to the best loosing team. Please Rose come to Spears or Boland.

  • Groot Leeu Christo - 2010-05-11 09:52

    It's about bloody time we spent some money on big players! Each and every year we just see our best players being bought by other unions and I'm sick of it. The days where we fielded 10 to 12 springboks in the middle 90's....oh how I miss those days. Hopefully by signing 5 to 7 big players we can turn around our fortunes within the next year or so....

  • @Fleckie Kerr! - 2010-05-11 10:10

    Fleckie, you have been owned. Now go back to your hole, you arrogant capetonian.Lions rugby has been producing top players forever. Almost half of the current stormers side are originally from JHB. If they all hadn't ended up at Stormers, the current Super 14 log could well have had Stormers in last place. It's more of a case of Stormers bugger off and make your own players. Jaque, Bryan, Anton, Ricky etc etc come back home.