Veteran Springbok flyhalf Butch James, a member of the Rugby World Cup winning team in 2007, has decided to retire from Test rugby with immediate effect.
James is the most capped Springbok flyhalf, having played 37 of his 42 Tests for South Africa in the No. 10 jersey since making his debut against France in 2001. His last Test for the Springboks was at the Rugby World Cup 2011 as a replacement against Wales. He was also a member of the MTN Golden Lions team that won the Absa Currie Cup last year.
The 33-year-old James said the decision to retire from Test rugby was not easy.
“I’ve had a great career playing for South Africa, the Sharks, Bath and the MTN Lions, but I’m not getting any younger and I knew this was the right decision to make, even though it was very difficult,” said James.
“I think I’ve got one or two more years of rugby left in me and all I want to concentrate on at this stage is to give nothing less than 100% on the field and enjoy my game.”
“I’ve been fortunate to have a long career playing at the top level and I’ll look back at my time with the Springboks with nothing but fondness.”
I snooped around Youtube for a clip of the (in)famous Butch James tackle and there are many!
Here’s a famous one:
Springbok coach Heyneke Meyer, who invited James to the Planning Camp that started in Pretoria on Sunday, said he was sad to see someone with James’ experience retire, but that he respects the players’ decision.
“Butch was an integral part of the Springbok team that won the Rugby World Cup in 2007 and he’s been a great servant of the game over more than a decade. He contacted me to inform me of his decision to retire and I respect that,” said Meyer.
“I really wanted to have him here with us, as he brings a wealth of experience with him and it would have been great for many of the younger players to work with him, but I understand that he wants to concentrate on his career with the MTN Lions and I can’t fault that.”
James made his senior provincial debut in 1999 for the Sharks. He represented the team from KwaZulu-Natal in 65 provincial and 57 Vodacom Super Rugby matches. He also played for the Golden Lions (3 provincial and 11 Vodacom Super Rugby matches), as well as 68 games for English club Bath.
Apart from his 42 Tests, James played one non-Test for the Springboks. He also represented the South African Under-21 side in 1999, when they won the SANZAR-UAR Tournament, and 2000, the SA U23s in 2000 and the SA A-team in 2002 and 2003.
HEIGHT 184 cm
WEIGHT 98 Kg
BIRTH DATE 08 January 1979
BIRTH PLACE Johannesburg
FAVOURITE FILM Old School
FAVOURITE MUSIC Kaiser Chiefs
FAVOURITE FOOD Lamb
PRIMARY SCHOOL Merchiston Primary
SECONDARY SCHOOL Maritzburg College
DROP GOALS 1
TOTAL POINTS 159
Above stats from www.sarugby.co.za Find the complete Butch James SARU Profile here
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