Butch James has the hunger, the experience and the intimidating aura to be a match-winning figure at the 2011 World Cup.
In the latest issue of SA Rugby magazine, senior staff writer Jon Cardinelli says this aura shouldn’t be underestimated, especially in a World Cup year. Global tournaments are won on defence and experience, and James’s value as a game-changing defender is as indisputable as his 2007 World Cup winner’s medal. And at 32, he’s still rattling opponents.
‘I’ve never thought of [Dan] Carter as a fragile player,’ James says in explaining the psychology of big defending. ‘It’s more a case of making your presence felt. You want your opposite number to know you’re around. You want him to be constantly thinking about what you’ll do next.’
James goes on to talk about how playing in the northern hemisphere forced him to embrace tactical kicking but why he prefers to play with the ball in hand, why he signed with the Lions, how he feels about leaving Bath, how he deals with injuries, and his competitors for the Bok No 10 jersey.
Former Bok technical adviser Eddie Jones and Bath coach Steve Meehan also explain why James should go to the World Cup.
Also in the new issue:
– Christchurch is home for all four Whitelock brothers
– After a short stint in rugby league, former SA Schools centre JP du Plessis wants to make his mark with the Melbourne Rebels
– A pre-season injury to Tiaan Liebenberg has given Deon Fourie a chance to shine for the Stormers
– Former Bok prop Robbie Kempson on the Kings academy, the policing of the scrum, and why the Currie Cup First Division format should change
– The Kings are making steady progress ahead of their Super Rugby debut in 2013
– Bjorn Basson is determined to move past a nightmare period in his career
– SA U20 coach Dawie Theron on why he left Griquas, his preparations for the World Junior Championship and ensuring that the system produces quality players
– Financial mismanagement has plunged Namibia into crisis just six months before the World Cup
– Maties coach Chean Roux has a passion for the game
– After making a big impact in Cape Town as a defence, collisions and breakdown coach, Omar Mouneimne has been given the chance to work at Test level with Italy
– Brian Mujati has excelled for the Northampton Saints but don’t expect him to talk about it
– Springbok Sevens skipper Kyle Brown on turning their season around in Las Vegas and the importance of keeping youngsters in the system
– We preview the Easter schools rugby festivals and tell you which matches to watch