Breyton: Give Butch a run

2011-08-03 12:17

Cape Town - Breyton Paulse has said he believes that Butch James has the inside track to establish himself as South Africa’s first-choice flyhalf ahead of the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

VIDEO: Click here for Breyton interview

Speaking to Union Sports Mag, the 64-cap former Springbok wing said that Peter de Villiers had the benefit of being able to pick two very different types of players to suit different game plans and situations, as he compared Morné Steyn and Butch James.

“I think Peter de Villiers has the luxury of knowing what he what he has in these two players,” Paulse said. “At least we have two options.”

Steyn has recently come under criticism for standing too deep in the pocket to create go-forward ball, relying on the boot too much and for struggling behind an outmuscled forward pack.

Breyton Paulse expressed dissatisfaction at Steyn’s recent form.

“I have been a little bit disappointed about Morné in the last couple of games,” he said. “Last year he had a fantastic year and I feel in the last couple of games his confidence has taken a knock.”

But Paulse was upbeat about the prospect of a return to the number 10 Springbok jersey for Butch James.

“Butch brings a much more physical dimension to the game. Butch is also more of an attacking flyhalf than Morné Steyn.”

“Butch has been there before: he has played in a World Cup final, he knows the conditions and he has been playing for a very long time,” Breyton said.

“Maybe it’s time to give Butch a run,” he added.

Breyton stressed that although he felt Butch had the edge, it was not too late for Morné to step up a gear before the 2011 Rugby World Cup.

“I think Butch is a step ahead of Morné, but there [is still time] to go [before the 2011 Rugby World Cup in New Zealand] and anything can happen.”

Patrick Lambie, who has been released to the Natal Sharks for Currie Cup duty by the Bok management, was not mentioned during the interview.


  • kosie - 2011-08-03 12:21

    its only six weeks to the WC, not a couple of months....

      kosie - 2011-08-03 12:22

      sorry 5 weeks

      Obama Bin Laden - 2011-08-03 12:31

      Ja, pick Steyn when you want someone to do the turnstile sokkie in the flyhalf channel so we can leak 40 points. And pick Butch when you want to play with 14 men for half the game because after half a life as a professional rugby player he still hasn't learnt how to tackle

      Steve Wonderboy - 2011-08-03 13:23

      Truth is James does know how to tackle. It's only that he gets special attention from the ref when he plays that his record looks so bad. I've seen games where the opposition did exactly the same things James was penalized for and gets away with it. Refs are by-est against South African players and until Saru starts growing a spine against these corrupt officials we'll always suffer.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-03 14:02

      ...yellow/red card Butch James.... ....only 14 players for the Boks....?

      Coach18 - 2011-08-03 15:28

      Confidence can be built for Steyn with a decent forward pack and a scrumie that knows how to actually play in that position! @Fool i mean Tool no sorry Tools 1 you do best not to take the Lords name here!!

      Drewka - 2011-08-03 16:41

      My vote goes for Butch.... He reminds me of "lem" Pieter Muller. Guys fear him for his physicality on the field, and we're not going to win a world cup with ladies on the field. We need men that could hurt someone when they tackle them. This is Springbok rugby and we should not try an All Black or Wallaby approach. We played Springbok rugby in 1995, and in 2007 Jake had a more clinical approach, but that’s not going to work for us against Sony Bill. We need the BIG physical men, that can stop him in his tracks, and there’s no better person than Butch.

      Paddy - 2011-08-04 02:47

      Breytie wanner het jy begin suip?Butch is n dom aap en hoort eintlik in die BB span.

      Paddy - 2011-08-04 02:48

      JOHNNY eerder 14 as om met halfhartige BB poefters soos Morne Steyn,Spietkop du Preez,Gangster Botha en Nippels Spies te moet sukkel!

  • Sh@rks Fever - 2011-08-03 12:22

    No matter what who says about Butch he will be selected as no 10. Morne will be selected in the smaller games. I also think Butch should be the fly half as he has proven himself at test level over and over again. What he does in currie cup ruby doesn't happen at Inetnational level. Our WC back line will probably look like this. 15. Steyn 14. JP 13. Fourie 12. De Villiers 11. Bananna 10. Butch 9. Fourie.

      Gomez - 2011-08-03 12:34

      I think you are absolutely right.Butch would be my first choice too but I'm sad that at the same time we will loose probably the best goal kicker in Rugby at the moment.It is a tough old call.

      heebeejeebee - 2011-08-03 12:39

      Agreed. That must surely be the first choice backline. I reckon when those guys are on form they are world beaters. Further, they can be backed up by Hougaard, Lambie, Juan de Jong and Mvovo, all world class players. Bring on the World Cup, I see a MAJOR upset coming in the semi-finals!

      Almaki - 2011-08-03 12:44

      After Saturday's shocker I really don't think steyn should be picked as fullback. However I can't think of someone to replace him!

      heebeejeebee - 2011-08-03 12:47

      @ Sh@rks Fever. Just for the record, surely you are referring to Frans Steyn and not Morne Steyn, right?

      Pokerface - 2011-08-03 12:53

      Butch is a walking red card wtf are you mad and he is old. Breyton drop the slimy afro please (not a good look). Lambie lacks upper body strength.

      Sh@rks Fever - 2011-08-03 13:03

      @heebeejeebee. Yes Defenitly Frans Steyn or the Mule as they call him. In the backline I was refering to Bryan Habanna isn't my personal choice but hey I will give him the chance and support him. The utility backs will be where the surprise comes in but I believe they should play Hougaard, De Jongh and Lambie. There will probably always be 4 tight forwards on the bench, therefore only 3 backline players.

      Sh@rks Fever - 2011-08-03 13:08

      @ Poker face. I disagree that Lambie lacks upper body strengh. I always look with one eye when he carries the ball up and he always seems to amase me by not being taclked backward. He always makes half a meter.

      boyd.lance - 2011-08-03 13:20

      This is probably the best backline that we can put out. I'm missing Aplon though, but it'll probably be a toss-up between him and F.Steyn for fullback position, depending on who they play. Or he'll be played as a back-up wing. Otherwise, I'm quite happy with this backline

      Tools1 - 2011-08-03 14:08

      Sharky now you talking that is the best possible backline we can choose. Now if everyone can just stop being so damb negative we can start looking forward to a wonderful excuse to crack open beer early in the morning!!!!!

      oVaDoSe - 2011-08-03 14:47

      I like this backline, but would rather pick Mvovo or Aplon in place of JP, JP's performance of late has been below average, especially on defence. But if he is chosen, I will still support the green and gold!

      H&P - 2011-08-03 14:51

      Shows how little Div has done in 4 years, only change from 2007 is Frans to fullback from inside center and De Villiers in for Percy. In the pack only Beast and Spies will be new

  • Tolerant - 2011-08-03 12:28

    Butch is better, but his discipline might be a problem. (yellow cards)

      patthehat - 2011-08-03 13:19

      Being the WC I dont think this will be a problem

      Rob van den Heuvel - 2011-08-03 14:18

      Thing is, opposition sides know this so they will push him. Butch will have to keep a cool head.

  • ROB PETERS - 2011-08-03 12:30

    Breyten jy is n veraaier,hoekom kyk jy nie na jou eie kind nie,Francis of Rose moet ook exposure kry

      Chronoman - 2011-08-03 12:45

      Ai tog Rob, jy kan tog nie ernstig wees nie. Nie oor kleur soos jy dit wil he nie, maar bloot op grond van die vermoens van die manne. Rose is en was og altyd 'n dud en arme Francis moet eers mooi groot word. Hy het potensiaal maar sal BAIE moet groei om 'n Bok te kan word.

      Gaans - 2011-08-03 12:49

      Grow up you idiot!!

      Raka13 - 2011-08-03 12:55

      Ai tog - who robbed you peter?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-03 13:06

      Rob Peters is a middle aged white male chaps......probably of those dorks who can't be moved without an industrial strength crane lugging his @ss out of his home through a gat in die dak. He is a troll....nothing more, nothing less (ok maybe less.....or rather 'lower' down on the food chain)

      Hein - 2011-08-03 13:06

      Jy is common verby. Ek voel amper jammer vir jou.

      patthehat - 2011-08-03 13:19

      what a knob

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-03 14:04

      ...Rob Peters is a typical Stormer supporter....... ......Thelo Wakefield's drinking buddy...

      Kok - 2011-08-03 14:06

      Ek stem nie saam met Rob nie. Ek stem saam met Breyton.

      Monsterz - 2011-08-03 14:28

      are you crazy>>>Earl Rose??????????

      DeonL - 2011-08-03 14:54

      Stop looking at colours / race, we want the best players, not the 10th best flyhalves in theire provinces.

      Fabian - 2011-08-03 15:22

      dont know what games you are watching Rob. but those guys are lucky to make Provincial teams.

  • Andrew - 2011-08-03 12:33

    I have never seen such chaos so close to the WC!! The exclusion of Peter Grant is beyond me.

      Manus - 2011-08-03 12:47

      a Year or two ago I would have agreed with you concerning Grant, but his game has also gone to seed, I think. He was never a great tactical kicker, but lately that aspect of his game has been really awful. I agree with Breyten about Steyn's confidence, and about having the luxury of both James and Steyn in the group (and before everybody start sounding off about James being a yellowcard-risk: He was the flyhalf in the 2007 team that won the World Cup, wasn't he? Was he yellowcarded even once in that tournament?)

      Gorilla - 2011-08-03 12:55

      Manus. Peter Grant has been phenomenal this season. You can't be serious.

      patthehat - 2011-08-03 13:21

      PG is great for the Stormers, PDIV should of tried him at international level to see if he is good enough. I think his decision to play touch rugby in Japan and been injured for most of the Super15 has been his downfall

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-03 14:06

      ....Peter Grant = overrated... .......just like the WP/Stormers....

      Paddy - 2011-08-04 02:50

      Steyn useless no brains typical BB player.

  • NV - 2011-08-03 12:35

    Geel kaarte, geel kaarte.

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-03 14:07

      jip, ...die Bokke gaan net met 14 speel.... .....Butch James = walking yellow card...

      Paddy - 2011-08-04 02:51

      En daai unfit tosser,cheapshot Botha sal ook n paar kry!

  • Grant - 2011-08-03 12:40

    The fact that Lambie wasn't even mentioned in his assessment casts serious doubt over the comments from somebody who is supposed to know something about rugby. Seriously Paulse, ever heard of giving credit where it is due? What's wrong with you man!!?

      Chronoman - 2011-08-03 12:48

      Grant, Lambie will not do it for the Boks this time. He is way too green. He is nicely getting confident with the boot and needs to grow into the position. I still have serious doubts about him though. He is getting bigger and bigger and may become too slow and leadfooted for a no 10. Same as Steyn and Pienaar. Players who had a lot going for them but they are not slick.

      Pokerface - 2011-08-03 13:01

      Chronoman for coach. You deserve a medal a really BIG one.

      boyd.lance - 2011-08-03 13:28

      Lambie cannot be the starting flyhalf. Percentage-wise, he'll be the least accurate re: goal kicking, which is a major risk going into a world cup game. He's going to the world cup, and may get the odd game off the bench...but this will just be for the experience. Next time run, if he stays consistent and develops to his full potential, he'll be our number 1.

      Grant - 2011-08-03 16:36

      @boyd - if you are going to talk stats, what's better. Getting 4 out of 4 kicks (Steyn), or getting 6 out of 8 kicks (Lambie). Steyn cannot get us into opposition half NEARLY as often as Lambie will, which negates kicking accuracy. Besides, Steyn's kicking accuracy in the past ha been great, but on current form is definately no better than Lambie. @Chronoman - are you suggesting that Butch James is smaller and more nimble than Lambie?? I agree - we dont want Lambie to become an ogre at flyhalf, but at the moment, he isnt one. As for experience, yes, its great to have...but Lambie has not shown an ounce of nerves, and has rather been BMT personified in all major appearances. To write him off because he is young is simply being blind to the facts. The guy is good - shown nothing but good form and nerves of steel, has stood up to the biggest of the All Black runners (whilst those around him crumbled), yet people dont want to "risk" playing him. That's a joke if there ever was one...

  • Marc - 2011-08-03 12:48


  • Coconut - 2011-08-03 12:49

    If this prick gets into the side then the opposition might as well be given at least 9 points to start with for the penalties that he will give away not to speak of the possibility of a red card.

      Raka13 - 2011-08-03 13:20

      Same can be said about Bakkies, Bismark and the "rugby gods help us" Stegman.

      Raka13 - 2011-08-03 13:29

      Same can be said about Bakkies, Bismark and the "rugby gods help us" Stegman.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-03 13:59

      @Raka - I have guarantees from the rugby gods that Steggies will be watching the WC from his lounge....

      JohnnyBB - 2011-08-03 14:11

      ...and finger in the eye Schalk Burger ....

      Paddy - 2011-08-04 02:52

      Johnny and your finger up your arse! Then lick it mate.

  • John - 2011-08-03 12:53

    Morne will always struggle when Fourie Du Preez is not around. He takes all the pressure off Morne. Fourie calls the shots at domestic & test level & Morne has him to thank for his successes till now. Butch on his last Lions performance looks the business. It was such a pity he got carded late in the game.

      Sh@rks Fever - 2011-08-03 13:18

      Agree 100% John. He made me really worry in that game in the sense that he almost sent the Sharks packing. He was just brilliant on defense, his distribution and his kicking tactically and to poles was above average. Go and watch his Springbok games and everyone will see that he plays a much more disciplined game in the green and gold.

      DeonL - 2011-08-03 14:58

      He nearly took out the Sharks, but let them in again too.

      steam_engine - 2011-08-03 22:48

      Where did that leave lions? Just imagine if it happens in a knockout stage, that will be a disaster!!!

  • Gorilla - 2011-08-03 12:54

    Peter Grant FFS!!

      Sh@rks Fever - 2011-08-03 13:25

      Not sure Gorilla. Peter Grants attacking play is Brilliant. Defensive game alright but not brilliant. As reliable as Steyn going for poles, my concern about him is that his tactical kicking lacks what Steyn has in both distance and direction and my biggest concern is his continues problems with injuries. 50-60% of your game is built around the 9 and 10. Doesn't help we play him and chances are at about 70% he will get injured. I also don't think he would fit in the Bok game plan which is offensive defence. He is good if we have posession and set up continues phases but the Boks approach is to tackle the crap out of the other teams, force the turn over and score from it.

      Mikea - 2011-08-03 13:44

      PG is a good Provincial Player but does not have the alround kicking game. Disappointed with Morne who is totally off form. Missing kicks he would have got with his eyes closed. Missing Penalty touch etc etc. Butch is a good guy to have as other teams fear his fearless approach. But he is like schalk, bakkies. Too many penalties.

      Grant - 2011-08-03 16:39

      Steyn has no tactical kicking abilities! Seriously - go and watch the last 10 games he has played, and show me a time when he has gained any advantage from his kicking options. Kicking for posts he's skilled... kicking out of hand, he's average at best!

  • Jacques - 2011-08-03 13:06

    Steyn might be a great goal kicker, but so was Willem de Waal, Eric Herbert and Derick Hougaardt and you would not select them for the Boks. If you cannot distribute, your whole backline is suffering. Look at what a difference a good 9 can make when you want a good distributor of the ball, think Pienaar, Duvenhage, Wheepo? Sias Ehberson looks the complete package, albeit one season too early for him. Lambie has a lot of good qualities, but is not a dependable goal kicker, especially the pressure kicks, where this is where Steyn is probably at his best and I would bet on his kicking in a final. It's not only Breyten that wants to see Butch at 10. Naas and Joel have been saying the same thing for a while. Grant's overall game is above average and his goal kicking has improved a lot, but his decision making and kicks out of hand is not always on the money. You need a 10 that is more than just competative, but will bring something extra to the table which will keep his opponent worried. I would play Butch for the group games and in a tight (semi) final bring Steyn from the bench to slot the important match winning kicks.

  • patthehat - 2011-08-03 13:22

    I agree with you 100% Breyton you beauty

  • Jeff - 2011-08-03 13:49

    Here's my Backline: 15. G Aplon/ F Steyn 14. JP 13. Fourie 12. De Villiers 11. Habana 10. M Steyn / P Grant 09. F du Preez / F Hougaard. Morne met du Preez, en Grant met F Hougaard, baie goeie kombinasies. Can't go wrong there! Judging from the way they play.

      Kok - 2011-08-03 14:08

      P Grant pas nie in die prentjie nie. Hy kan nie eers behoorlik Superrugby speel nie. Goeie backline, maar hulle gaan dit nie maak in WB nie.

      Maori - 2011-08-03 14:55

      Fourie and De Villiers were exposed in Super 15. Please pick them - all of them are weak links, cannot wait to exploit it. Maybe they are better on paper, not on the paddy.

      GraemeBB - 2011-08-03 23:11

      @Vivian - Jaques Fourie not good enough? Sorry bud, now you have smacked your name with the PDivy plank. Noddy badge for this guy!

      Paddy - 2011-08-04 02:52

      KOK het jou vrou ook een?

  • greenpea - 2011-08-03 14:08

    Go Butch! you da man.... man

  • Frikkadel - 2011-08-03 14:20

    Butch James has NEVER been and will never be a good rugby player... he does not use his arms in 90% of tackles... Thanks for the BAD suggestion Breyton!

      Dave Sparrow - 2011-08-03 14:57

      The same thing was said about the bloke's a legend. Just saying.

      oVaDoSe - 2011-08-03 15:47

      Didnt Butch help us win a world cup? On first line defense? A few of his tackles are a bit marginal, but it puts fear in the opposition. He can be disciplined!

      Grant - 2011-08-03 16:41

      If you dont regard Butch James as a good rugby player, I'm afriad you are showing up your lack of rugby knowledge. As for no arms in the tackle - they generally arent any different to MOST players (apart from how hard the hits are). When you break someone in half when you hit them, people are going to look for excuses to level you out...

  • Frikkadel - 2011-08-03 14:20

    Butch James has NEVER been and will never be a good rugby player... he does not use his arms in 90% of tackles... Thanks for the BAD suggestion Breyton!

  • Tools1 - 2011-08-03 14:25

    Is it just me or where the two biggest disapointments on tour Pienaar and Steyn. My God it looked like they were trying to play each other out of the Springbok squad. And then one needs to ask the question that maby Steyn played so poorly because of the poor play from Pienaar. Two years back we all thought he was the best thing since half jack brandy with Du preez on his inside.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-08-03 15:18

      @Tools1 - Pienaar to me was the greatest disappointment. Steyn shouldn't have toured, he should have been rested with the Rustenburg 21. I actually don't think there is any other player in SA who has played as non-stop as Morne (from 2009 til now) - for the Bulls and the Boks.

      GraemeBB - 2011-08-03 23:16

      I say that we should let Morne buddy-up with the scrummies that he knows, and then judge him - and certainly not from full-back iether. But, even though I am a Bull, it is time for certain Bulls to show their worth. In all honesty, the Bull/Boks have been very disapointing this year. I hope they saved themselves, because we all know just how awesome they can be.

      BlueRaven - 2011-08-04 09:11

      my sentiments exactly Saffa

  • jock - 2011-08-03 14:44

    they did give him a run and he got red carded again

      Dave Sparrow - 2011-08-03 14:58


      Drewka - 2011-08-03 19:49

      Ja no Jock, when did he get a red card?? Butch and Steyn are both good players, but judging on the S15 Butch is the inform player. His ability to break the line offense and breaking bodies in defence are superb. If they stick with the senior team for the WC, James should be a 1st choice.

  • gatvol4corru - 2011-08-03 17:50

    Breytie -- stick to what you are good at. This is not for you. Take Divvy with

  • BokSharky - 2011-08-04 00:40

    Most certainly Butch will start WHO else will stop Cooper or SBW and Carter ..........I think SCHALK eill play at 7 in place of Juan Smit Brussouw at 6 and Danie at 8 if Spies dont regain his form

  • Straightdeal - 2011-08-04 09:42

    Butch has built up a bad name with the referees and they tend to be oversensitive when he's involved. I'd play him any day; he was on fire a couple of weeks ago before he got yellow-carded for (yet) another high tackle. But yes, we aren't going to win the Cup with a bunch of sissies in the side.

  • jon - 2011-08-05 12:43


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