Butch rushed into Lions squad

2011-05-08 11:27

Johannesburg - The initial plan was to give him a run during the second week on tour after saying his farewells at English Premiership club Bath, but Rugby World Cup-winning flyhalf Butch James will now have two training sessions before making his first Super Rugby appearance for the Lions.

"Butch arrives on Wednesday and we are looking forward to a flyhalf calling the shots," Lions coach John Mitchell said after his team's humiliating 53-19 loss to the Cheetahs on Saturday.

"His experience will be outstanding for the team and I'm not sure whether he will start, but he will be part of the 22."

The Lions left for Canberra on Saturday ahead of next week’s match against the Brumbies in what could turn out to be their best chance of bagging a win on tour.

Their other three matches on the road are against the Waratahs, the Highlanders and the Hurricanes.

"When he (James) gets there, we will have one session and a captain's run and he's experienced enough to pick up things pretty quickly," Mitchell said.

While Mitchell was not totally disappointed in Burton Francis' showing against the Free State squad, he added that James could provide a solution as far as tactical decision-making is concerned.

Elton Jantjies was given an extended run at the start of the competition before Francis had his chance, but the Lions' mentor was not concerned that bringing in another pivot would further upset the already unstable apple cart.

"It is all about putting out the best players in your squad and it is a professional game," Mitchell said.

"We are entitled to purchase players and we have purchased Butch James who is better than the rest.

"He's also more experienced, but he will have to earn his right off the bench."


  • WPBEFONK - 2011-05-08 11:35

    Weekend Predictions(Teams to win their games on 13 and 14 May): Highlanders by 10 Blues by 7 Brumbies by 20 Stormers by 12 Rebels by 7 Crusaders by 50

      Andrew - 2011-05-09 00:05

      What have got against the Cheetahs, maybe you're scared they might humble the Stormers in the next game they play?

  • RobinHood - 2011-05-08 11:44

    Nothing on earth can save this inept bunch

  • Bundy - 2011-05-08 11:48

    Talk about buying a Lemon. Cmon guys there is plenty of good young talent look to the future. All the money in the world but no real plan, build a system you can have faith in and show your players and union the respect they deserve.

  • StBad - 2011-05-08 12:03

    Clutching at straws... Butchy is a great player but throwing him into the deap end and hoping he'll make everything ok is a bit of a 'hospital pass' by Mitchell and his management... good luck!

  • red - 2011-05-08 12:15

    I am no expert , however from my observations of the competition... 1. 11+14 never chase down kick offs 2. Backline not creative enough , no quick offloads , too predictable 3. They never run together , no one to offload to for the skilled players that DO make breaks eg (Whitely) , too many lazy runners lagging behind. 4. Numbers 1-6 are inept - ZERO commitment to defence or breakdowns. 5. ZERO skills in counter rucking. 6. No fighting spirit , i think its best for Lions to temporarily recruit some european based Front Rowers. 7. Lions needs a serious defensive coach 8. Why hasnt the New Zealand style of play , ie quick offloads , offload in tackles been introduced , they are young enough to change their style of play. Obviously this will only work if nrs 1-15 are there to pick up any opportunities or passes , and not sitting out of breath in the background.

      shane.dereuck - 2011-05-09 12:19

      Red for Lions Coach!!!!:-)

      Juan - 2011-05-09 12:45

      @Shane. No it is not the Coach as we can not replace coaches year by year, it is most of the players. The players attitude stink as defence is all about attitude and commitment.

  • Crusaderinvader - 2011-05-08 12:23

    Is there nobody else coming through?.. where's the young talent?

      LDP - 2011-05-08 21:09

      Elton Jantjies is the young talent. He will be back playing at his best...his coinfidence is just low at the moment.

  • kurtvs - 2011-05-08 12:50

    bad buy fix your loose forwards and centers and stick with your young pivot´s

  • nohorse - 2011-05-08 14:24

    Butch has never been a rugby player, he is the alter ego of Bakkies. Maybe the Lions should fire their coach!

  • Lloyd - 2011-05-08 17:31

    The most overrated flyhalf since Peter Grant.

      tristan.p.harrop - 2011-05-09 00:16

      let me guess morne steyn is better?//

      muzaidh - 2011-05-09 00:21

      Oh Lloyd. Grant has always been overlooked, not overrated you dumb ass.

  • tristan.p.harrop - 2011-05-09 00:19

    I am an avid lions supporter.i dont understand how we will ever progress without a potent tight 5,we are seriously lacking a quality lock.We have quick wings in mjekevu and chavanga yet we play deon van rensburg who is a centre on the wing?That seems as if there is no confidence in our players.LIONS!!!!!

  • Howzitekse - 2011-05-09 01:08

    Never thought I would be happy to hear Butch is back in thown, but there is no form/class flyhalf in the Bok squad, so if he has any sort of form..............

  • Hybrid - 2011-05-09 09:59

    Buy the end of the tournament the whole Lions team will only consist of flyhalves

  • kosie - 2011-05-09 10:45

    lions need a good leader, who can control the game and motivate the players on the field. maybe butch can do that, maybe not.

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