Many flyer miles for Butch

2011-04-12 07:49

Pieter Jordaan

Johannesburg - Butch James may well make his debut for the Lions in four weeks’ time when the team embarks on their overseas tour in the Super Rugby competition.

As things currently stand, any reinforcement will be welcomed for the Lions and that may mean that the Springbok flyhalf will soon be seen in his new jersey.

James (32) is expected to jet off to Johannesburg immediately after his last game in the English season.

It does not look as if his club side Bath will make the semi-finals of the English Premiership, which means that his league season will end on 7 May.

The Lions’ Super Rugby tour of Australasia starts a week later against the Brumbies in Canberra.

The travel demands between Bath, Johannesburg and Canberra could mean that James may not be played immediately on tour.

Then there is also the issue of his form.

Lions flyhalves Elton Jantjies and André Pretorius performed poorly behind a beaten pack against the Sharks on Saturday, but James’ recent form for Bath has not been good either.

He was criticised for his performance in Bath’s recent home defeat to the Leicester Tigers. It was his trademark shoulder charges that proved costly to his side as he was penalised for illegal play a few times.

For the Lions the way forward seems tough.

Their 3-27 defeat to the Sharks was their worst performance of the year, and even if team management doesn’t admit as much, it looks as if they doubt themselves.

Injuries have also struck and fullback James Kamana will be out for three months with a broken ankle. Kamana’s tournament is therefore over and another fullback, Michael Killian, recently suffered a hamstring injury.

Now a match against the Stormers awaits the Lions at Coca-Cola Park.

Lions coach John Mitchell believes in consistency of selection, but there may well be changes after the fiasco against the Sharks.

Fixing the problems in the scrums and lineouts will be high on the priority list.

The Lions are not a team with a lot of experience, but are capable of more and are under pressure to show that in upcoming home matches against the Stormers, Chiefs and Cheetahs.


  • Bosduif - 2011-04-12 08:19

    You can get the AB backline for the Lions and they will be useless. They need to get some fire/power upfront first. Phone Mujati, Weppener, Heinke and Big Joe, also new locks.

  • Bulldozer - 2011-04-12 08:39

    Overrated never been.

      Lloyd - 2011-04-12 08:45

      Hy moet vir die Stormers gaan speel. Sal mooi daar inpas.

      scipio - 2011-04-12 08:51

      Never been? Could you be so kind as to inform us about you're illustrious springbok career? Mmm I thought so

      kosie - 2011-04-12 09:23

      world cup 2007 fly half, ring any bells.

  • GILLBERT - 2011-04-12 08:43

    happy dayz now only for frans steyn

  • nic69ers - 2011-04-12 09:22

    Im pretty sure his "off" form is better than Elton at the moment, Elton is getting run over run around and handed handed off like he is isnt even there!! BRING ON BUTCH!!! Just please teach him how to use arms in the tackle first!!!

  • kosie - 2011-04-12 09:23

    it will be a different side with steyn and butch there, but it is a little to late, by the time they settle in, the super 15 will be over for them.

  • Hanjo - 2011-04-12 09:35

    flyhalf isn't the problem, Elton got taken off early, and Andre wasn't great either, but Jantjies gets the backline going, the real problem the Lions are facing is a lack of composure and self belief, get that fixed, and the current Lions team will dominate. -some comment on locks, loose forwards, frontrow needing chnage...currently, I feel they might need a lock, but that's it, Franco needs a partner that can stand up in the line-outs(where Franco made a few steals against the Sharks) and in open play, I thought the idea of playing Wicus van Heerden there was a good one, he's a good loose forward, and his added abilities as tackler and ball carrier will certainly help up front, -they need to sort out their starting front row, Give Pat some game time, he was pretty good at the Sharks, Maku has been pretty decent, Marutlulle on the bench is a bright talent, not sure whether Adriaanse, JC, buys or whoever else should start. the loose forwards, Minnie, Strauss and Whiteley have been good. and teh backs have all the ability to be dangerous, they just need some frontfoot ball

  • leon - 2011-04-12 10:56

    jeeezzzz, is the Lions going try out all the hazbeen half backs. who's next...Liefling???

  • StBad - 2011-04-12 11:43

    Their tight fight was never going to dominate any side... spend less money on flyhalves and NZ fullbacks and more on hookers, props and locks.

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