Butch banks on Bath

Springbok flyhalf Butch James has ruled out a return to South Africa by signing a three-year extension to his current contract with Premiership side Bath.

The extension will see the 29-year-old remain at the club until the end of the 2011/2012 season. There were reports that a number of South African franchises and big European clubs had shown interest in his services, but he will now effectively end his career at The Rec.

“I have made some really good friends in Bath and am really happy playing rugby here and hope to keep playing well for Bath,” he told the club’s official site.

James has spoken openly about the possibility of retirement from international rugby after the British and Irish Lions series in mid 2009 and hinted at that once more.

“It is always great to be able to play for your country,” admitted Butch. “But, I am not sure. I think my days as an international player might be numbered, although I would still really like to make the Lions Tour. If I make the selection for that, we will see from there.”