LIONS PIVOT Butch James should wear the Springboks No 10 jersey at the Rugby World Cup, says Joel Stransky.
However, his temperament and battered body may count against him.
James is in a race with Morné Steyn and Patrick Lambie to run the cutter for the World Cup holders when rugby’s showpiece event gets underway in September.
But Stransky, who famously won the 1995 RWC for the Boks with a drop goal in extra time, believes James’ allround game and experience gives him the edge over the other two candidates.
“I, right now, would go for Butch. His ability to make decisions, to play closer to the gain-line, defending that channel,” Stransky told The Independent.
“All of that, plus his experience, means for me that he would be the flyhalf. Butch's kicking game has improved dramatically since the last World Cup, and even in that tournament, he kicked out of hand really well. He looks comfortable as a goalkicker too, and looks natural. With his experience, they won't look past him.”
However, Stransky fears that James' temperament may work against him.
“There is only one thing [that will count against him] – whether he will stay on the field.
“It's those hot-headed tackles every now and then, and he has had three or four knee reconstructions. His longevity might be an issue.”
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