James back at flyhalf

2011-06-09 12:58

Johannesburg - Butch James, who was on Wednesday included in the national training group, returns to flyhalf for the MTN Lions’ last Super Rugby match of the season against the Sharks at Coca Cola Park on Saturday.

Coach John Mitchell is obviously planning the career of Elton Jantjies carefully. Jantjies moves down to the bench following good performances on the Australasian tour where he also regained his kicking excellence by missing only one from 16 attempts.

James’ place at centre is taken by Alwyn Hollenbach, who is promoted from the bench. Captain Doppies la Grange remains at outside centre where he fitted in with ease when James was moved to inside centre on tour.

Up front, the originally selected pack to start against the Hurricanes last weekend has been selected. Last weekend’s team was subsequently changed as Cobus Grobbelaar returned home because of a family bereavement.

He is bracketed at flank for the Sharks match with Jaco Kriel, who was flown out as replacement for the Hurricanes match.

At lock, Franco van der Merwe is expected to play after sustaining an eye injury last Saturday. He has however been bracketed with David de Villiers. If Van der Merwe is unfit for the Sharks match, De Villiers will start with David Bulbring taking his place on the bench.

Another change on the bench is the selection of Michael Bondesio for Rory Kockott.


15 Jaco Taute, 14 Dylan Des Fountain, 13 Doppies la Grange (capt.), 12 Alwyn Hollenbach, 11 Deon van Rensburg, 10 Butch James, 9 Jano Vermaak, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Derick Minnie, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar/Jaco Kriel, 5 Franco van der Merwe/David de Villiers, 4 Wikus van Heerden, 3 Patric Cilliers, 2 Bandise Maku, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg

Substitutes: 16 Edgar Marutlulle, 17 Jacobie Adriaanse, 18 David de Villiers/David Bulbring, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Michael Bondesio, 21 Elton Jantjies, 22 Michael Killian


15. Louis Ludik, 14. JP Pietersen, 13. Stefan Terblanche, 12. Meyer Bosman, 11. Lwazi Mvovo, 10. Patrick Lambie, 9. Charl McLeod, 8. Ryan Kankowski, 7. Keegan Daniel, 6. Jacques Botes, 5. Gerhard Mostert, 4. Steven Sykes, 3. Eugene van Staden, 2. John Smit (captain), 1. Beast Mtawarira        

Substitutes: 16. Bismarck du Plessis, 17. Wiehahn Herbst, 18. Alistair Hargreaves, 19. Marcell Coetzee, 20. Frederic Michalak, 21. Jacques-Louis Potgieter, 22. Adrian Jacobs


  • molefeP - 2011-06-09 13:07

    Well, there gooes any chance that the Lions hade of winning! Jantjies is way better than Butch "the OLD man" James.

      thumper - 2011-06-09 13:16

      I'm afraid this was a clever tactical move. Butch is not my favourite character but I think he's gonna punch some holes in that Sharks shaky midfield. Jantjies can come on later when the sharks are tired of being flattened. i support neither team but the way this season is going i won't be suprised if the Lions manage to win this one by a narrow margin.

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 13:24

      @Thumper, Jantjies was did a pretty good job of punching holes in the Hurricanes' and Highlanders' midfield, and the brumbies, he was impressive, and I think his distribution, creativity and skill would've been a better weapon than the predictability of Butch, Hollenbach and Doppies will be punching the holes, Butch may have been selected purely to keep an eye on Lambie.

      thumper - 2011-06-09 13:31

      True Hanjo but considering his history playing with the Sharks this should be an interesting match. I just think Jantjies is going to enjoy some extra room when the Sharks and oupa terblanche get tired later in the game.

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 13:34

      I think the replacements may open the game up a bit, specially Elton, and agree Butch's knowledge of the Sharks will help the Lions, but after the tour the Lions had, where Jantjies put on quite a show with his offloads, breaks and accurate kicking, I would just have liked to see if he could keep up his form, see if he could perform consistently...I'm starting to think he's a confidence player, like R Pienaar, and dropping him to the bench may just influence his game....hopefully not.

      Rory - 2011-06-09 13:51

      you cant be serious ? a world cup winner not better than a guy in his first season of super rugby?

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 14:11

      okay wise ass Rory, lets pick Joel Stransky ahead of Morne Steyn, after all, Joel is a WC winnier...that's an idiotic statement if I've ever seen one...

      Frikkie - 2011-06-09 14:17

      Go Cheethas!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Jack Turner - 2011-06-09 14:28

      Your opinion only...They are both pathetic............

      Grant - 2011-06-09 15:03

      Gotta agree with Rory! James is HARDLY past his prime - we won the world cup (and not the one 17 years ago - but the most recent one!) He has years of top level experience, and has become more and more refined as he has played. No doubt that Jantjies is a great prospect, but if you consider Butch James a step down, then I'm afraid the true qualities of a world class flyhalf are lost on you...

      Maarten - 2011-06-09 19:12

      I agree with Hanjo, if we are picking has beens, then why stop at James. Hell, let's gonwith Naas,

  • Twoplusthree - 2011-06-09 13:07

    Wakker slaap Sardines!

  • Hannes van der Linde - 2011-06-09 13:08

    Maybe Mitch had a visit from Div?

  • ARRA - 2011-06-09 13:08

    En nou moet hy sy insluiting in die BOK groep regverdig anders is hy een van die 7 wat volgende keer weggelaat word

  • Marshall - 2011-06-09 13:12

    Why? Over the past few weeks all he has done is dance around the fringes trying not to get hurt. It is shocking how many tries are scored through his channel. He has gone from armless tackles, to simply not tackling at all. Really a waste of a salary. The season is a lost cause, it would have been worth leaving Jantjies in the position. He would benefit greatly by going up against Lambie. And yes, some of the usual suspects will rant on about how Bitch is "world-class" "won a world cup" etc etc, but in all fairness, he was nothing more than adequate in the position in 2007 and was made to look a lot better than he really is by a truly world-class player, FdP.

      Cambo - 2011-06-09 13:48

      absolute nonsense! fristly, he has been playing out of position at 12, and in most of the tries scored it has been Jantjies who has come off the line at the wrong time or even missed his man. Secondly, if you ask any 12 that has played outside Butch who the best 10 is- tthey would say butch would be right up there. He made Trevor Halstead's career and is the best distributor of the ball at the advantage line- when you have strike runners like JDV and Fourie that is a perfect combination. Mitchell knows this, he also knows that the sharks midfield is a weakness hence picking strike runners at 12 and 13.

      Rory - 2011-06-09 13:52

      you clearly werent watching the same RWC in 2007 as the rest of us

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 14:28

      Rory once again, this isn't 2007? it's 2011

  • Raka13 - 2011-06-09 13:20

    This is a good Lions team. Super backline, if they are on song, they can cause real havoc.

      Rory - 2011-06-09 13:53

      havoc? where, when ?

      Dan the Man - 2011-06-09 14:17

      The problem with the lions this season has never been their backline which is fulled with talented guys - they just dont have a decent tight 5, let alone a good one. The fact that van heerden has to play at lock says it all. Once they spend some money on good props and locks we may see a turn around, but until then they will lose more than they win

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 14:33

      Dan, not just good props , experienced props...scouting only in SA won't work, maybe a Wian du Preez? or heard Al Baxter wants to retire, get him for a season or two, he has valuable experience which can rub off on the youngsters. I think a strong young no4 lock, two decent experienced props, and they'll have a decent tight 5. Andrew Hore would've been a good buy, he was also available , think he's moving to France now. not sure.

  • SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-09 13:28

    And what does this article have to do with the Bulls/Stormers game? ONLY KIDDING...thank the stars there is something other to talk about. Even I am getting fed up with all the articles on the Newlands clash. Butchie is playing 10 to cause some havoc physically. That is the ONLY reason I can think of? Elton has been way more effective at 10...but expect Elton on at 10 sooner rather than later, and the Butcher to move to 12 (way more effective set-up that)....I have a sneaky feeling about this game.....Lions will be up for this.

      gooinat - 2011-06-09 13:47

      I feel an upset coming here as well,last game of the season for the Lions and they will want to go out on a massive high.James is going to put in some big hits and he's going to take some to,going to be a lot of niggle in this game.Lions by 5!!!!!!!!

      sparkies - 2011-06-09 13:51

      I feel for the Lions, most of their loses their has only been a few points in it.If their was a prize for effort it would go to the Lions,if their was a prize for throwing it away, ill announce that after both games on Sat

      WernerE - 2011-06-09 13:53

      I just hope the lions don't do the same as in their last game in the 2010 currie cup. You could see they didn't want to be there and it wasn't pretty. They should actually put in a b-team to give some other players a chance to see what they can do and most probably give the sharks a better place on the log by losing the game. They are already out why not better the Sharks' chances?

      Hannes van der Linde - 2011-06-09 13:54

      SAF: The other reason might be that it was at Div's request. He's been included in the Springbok group and I can guarantee you it's not for his skills as a centre. Same thing he did with Plumtree on John Smit. He wants Butch at Flyhalf. If Plum wanted to win he would have kept things as they were... Jantjies at 10, Butch at 12, they work like that

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-09 14:00

      @Hannes - yeah, seeing that John Smit is starting at 2 this weekend - Div might have whispered a few words in the ears of Plum and Mitch. Although Plum has pretty much ignored Divvies' wishes the whole season......But yeah, Butch at 10 and John Smit at 2 for Sharks does seem a little "pre-planned". @Gooinat - I sense a possible upset in Perth as well. Force's loose forwards to nail Reds, and with the Reds injuries....who knows. The only thing in the Reds favour is Stew Dick reffing. @sparkies - Boy have the Lions lost games they should have won this season - it has been the most frustrating thing to watch. (They have also has some pretty sh*te calls go against them as well most teams I suppose.)

  • Boxertronic - 2011-06-09 13:28

    Do you people even watch rugby ??? The worst comments I have ever read !!!! Rather go watch hockey !!

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 13:38

      regarding the Butch vs Elton comments??if so, the only 1 who hasn't been watching rugby lately(since 2010, specially the last few weeks when the Lions were on tour) Elton has been very very good, and Botch in his start at 10, less so

  • Boxertronic - 2011-06-09 13:28

    except u raka

  • WernerE - 2011-06-09 13:29

    Why don't they replace Dylan des Fountain with Michael Killian?

      Hanjo - 2011-06-09 13:39

      I think des Fountain has been good defensively, and okay on attack, not really a wing, but did well on tour, so probably the right decision. Deon van Rensburg hasn't been very good, so I would have Michael in his place.

  • Hanjo - 2011-06-09 13:30

    Would've started Killian ahead of van Rensburg on the wing, had Doppies on the inside, and kept Elton at 10, but not a bad team, would also have a loose trio of Whiteley, Strauss and Minnie instead. should be a good game, if the Lions' defense holds, they may give the Sharks a few headaches.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-09 13:40

      van Rensburg a weak link.

      Rory - 2011-06-09 13:53

      doppies needs to go

  • Lloyd - 2011-06-09 13:31

    Ek sou vir Robbie Blair gekies het.

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-09 13:38

      @Lloyd - What about Sonny Bill?

      sparkies - 2011-06-09 14:00

      I would have chosen you Lloyd, apparently you could hop quicker the a Roo

      Lloyd - 2011-06-09 14:06

      He's a center. Don't you know anything SAFFA?

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-09 14:10

      @Sparkies - hehehehehehehehhehehehehehe. @Lloyd - ok what about John Eales?

  • Raka13 - 2011-06-09 13:37

    All bloggers. It is time to have a good afternoon laugh. Please switch to chirping mode

      Oukoos - 2011-06-09 14:51

      You want a laugh? Go and read all the predictions of a Bulls win on Saturday

      Raka13 - 2011-06-09 15:00

      Oukoos, I don't laugh at people with mental disabilities

  • Hanjo - 2011-06-09 13:40

    no explanation for the Kockott Bondesio swap? was he perhaps the player involved in the sexual assault scandal??

      SAFFA-CAT - 2011-06-09 14:02

      Interesting. But nothing came of that so-called scandal either, and the Kiwi cops have not said another word, so I think it was a BS story. Knowing Kockott, his attitude is probably involved in his "downgrading" - unless he is injured.....

      L13 - 2011-06-09 14:07

      rumour has it kockett is off to france

      thumper - 2011-06-09 14:15

      Thats nice L13. I hear the weather is nice there at the moment.

  • Jacques - 2011-06-09 14:17

    Elton is playing excellently at fly half and James fitted in nicely at 12, seeing the Lions do not have an outstanding inside center. The comment that the coach is building Elton's career and therefor not playing him is nonsense. He is banking on Butch's name to help him against the sharks. This move is going to cost the lions, Elton is in excellent form and now is the time to play him - pressure builds experience to handle big games.

  • kurtvs - 2011-06-09 14:42

    Good move John Mitchell, spare your star player the humiliation of being booed by his home crowd. Maybe when Butch has played and been exposed they will beg for Jantjies to start again.

  • Juan - 2011-06-09 14:54

    GO LIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • StBad - 2011-06-09 16:45

    Butchy vs Lambie!!! From a Sharks perspective this is the match-up of the decade!

  • J10 - 2011-06-09 17:34

    I think DIV is calling the shots smit nr 2 james nr 10 but lets see if it works!

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