Springbok pivot Butch James has reportedly agreed terms on a new three-year contract with Bath, which will see the World Cup winner play out his rugby career with the Premiership club.
Rugby 365 reports that when James arrived back at Bath after international duty with the Boks earlier this month, the 29-year-old made it clear that he wanted to sort out his long-term future as soon as possible – with the Sharks waiting in the wings looking to lure him back to Super 14 rugby.
When those talks started, James asked for a three-year contract, while Bath had already stated that they wanted to secure James for the foreseeable future along with compatriot and halfback partner Michael Claassens – who has already signed up until the end of the 2009/10 season.
Bath have since offered the world-class No.10 a three-year deal, and it is understood that the outline agreement has already been reached on terms.
Final confirmation of the agreement is expected from both club and player before James joins up with South Africa for the Springboks’ Northern Hemisphere tour in November – with the flyhalf likely to hang up his Test boots after the British and Irish Lions tour to the Republic next year.
Meanwhile, James put his recent kicking woes behind him to knock over three penalties and two conversions against Worcester, helping to steer Bath to a 37-19 Premiership victory on Saturday.
The bonus-point win also lifted Steve Meehan’s men into second place on the Premiership table, one behind current leaders, Sale Sharks.
The 10,600 sell-out Rec crowd watched the home side run in two first-half tries in as many minutes from fullback Nick Abendanon and wing Joe Maddock to lead 20-9 at half-time.
Bath then scored three more second-half tries through replacement tighthead prop Duncan Bell, skipper Michael Lipman and centre Shaun Berne.
Worcester mustered a breakaway try from wing Chris Pennell, before Bath pulled away for a convincing victory.
“That has set us up for a real crack at Wasps on Wednesday night,” Bath head coach Steve Meehan told The Bath Chronicle.
“We’ll go up there and throw the kitchen sink at them after scoring five tries and putting in a performance which will have done much to boost confidence in the squad.”
Bath have no significant injuries to report, with Meehan expecting David Flatman and Matt Stevens (who went off the field on Saturday with respective niggles) to be fit to face the defending champions at Adams Park on Wednesday.Tweet