KSA Shark ©

Boks star announces retirement date after ‘too much rugby’

Written by Andre Bosch (KSA Shark ©)

Posted in :In the news, Springboks on 14 Sep 2008 at 06:59
Tagged with :

Springbok flyhalf Butch James has warned that the never-ending schedule of competitive rugby matches will force more players to join him on the international sidelines in future.

Rugby 365 reports that James, a World Cup winner with South Africa in France last year, said that modern players play an “unsustainable” number of games, and that the schedule overload was a contributing factor to his decision to retire from internationals next year.

James turned out for English club Bath against Gloucester in the Guinness Premiership on Saturday – a game Bath lost 17-21 as James endured a horror show with the boot, in what will be the 34th competitive game of his endless season – including 15 Tests.

Last year he played an entire Super 14 tournament with the Sharks, then all but two of South Africa’s mid-year internationals, before helping the Boks to win the World Cup.

He joined Bath straight after the tournament in France for a full season of Premiership and European matches, before returning to South Africa for the mid-year international season.

A full Premiership season, a European Cup campaign, a potential end-of-year tour with the Boks and a series against the British Lions next year are still to come.

The domestic English season has just begun, but James has had no recovery time after a hectic year.

James had to report back for duty with Bath barely a week after helping the Boks to victory in France last year, and his presence helped his club to trophy success in the European Challenge Cup.

And as soon as Bath’s season was over, it was time for James to join Peter de Villiers’ Springboks for a gruelling international season involving 10 Tests, before lining up for Bath once again.

“It’s not sustainable,” James told The Guardian newspaper. “It’s pretty tough and I don’t think it’s advisable either. You’re going to break down somewhere along the line.

“There’s no way I could continue doing this.”

James said his decision to quit international rugby after the Lions tour, at the age of 30, was “irreversible”.

He is undecided whether to re-sign with Bath for the 2009/10 season or to rejoin the Sharks in Durban.

“Even if I did go back to the Sharks, the Lions would be the end of it. I need to give the body a break,” he said.

“You can feel when it’s time and I think it’ll be time next July.

“Sometimes it’s just the sight of another training pitch, especially when it’s raining like it has been. It’s not easy, even if the guys around you are helping you out.”

He added: “There are a lot of guys at home [in South Africa] who started their Test careers very young and you can see how sore their bodies are.

“I don’t think there’s any way they’ll still be going into their early thirties. Someone like Schalk Burger really throws his body around in every single game. I don’t think he’s going to be able to play much beyond 28 if he wants to play with his kids one day.”


  • And now Butch are crying he is tired after he had a shocking day with the boot? Always blaming something when things are not going his way. Congratulations Butch, go and rest. Sheesh!! 😈

  • Comment 1, posted at 14.09.08 07:05:13 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 1) :

    This article was published before the Bath match yesterday, and updated to include the Bath info by 365.

    So Butch was “crying” before the match already.

    I am afraid Butch only has himself to blame for this. My biggest concern is that he might not even be good enough (worn out) when the ’09 Lions tour.

  • Comment 2, posted at 14.09.08 07:19:05 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • Butch butchers it with the boot
    Sat, 13 Sep 2008 18:51

    World Cup-winning Springbok Butch James’ fairytale return to the Guinness Premiership lasted just one week, as he produced a horror show with the boot to allow Gloucester their first league win at the Recreation Ground, with the visitors securing a 21-17 triumph.

    James, who had earlier complained that he was playing too much rugby after more than 18 months of non-stop playing in domestic and international competitions, missed four penalties and the conversion of captain Michael Lipman’s first-half try – despite perfect playing conditions.

    The hapless James had further indignity heaped on him when Willie Walker charged down an attempted clearance and then gathered the bouncing ball to score a try that put the visitors 16 points clear and ultimately proved to be the match-winning score.

  • Comment 3, posted at 14.09.08 07:25:50 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • No bad blood in Bath for James
    Sat, 13 Sep 2008 22:07

    Bath boss Steve Meehan refused to point the finger of blame at Butch James following his team’s 17-21 Guinness Premiership defeat against west-country rivals Gloucester on Saturday.

    The World Cup-winning Springbok flyhalf James missed four penalties and a conversion, and also had an attempted defensive clearance charged down that led to opposite number Willie Walker claiming a 71st-minute try. James’s performance was in stark contrast to his 18-point haul during last weekend’s victory over Bristol.

    But Meehan said: “I have never blamed a kicker for a defeat, and I won’t start now.”

    Bath captain Michael Lipman added: “Butch is a world-class No.10. Sometimes you have an off-day with the boot, and that is what happened. He is a tremendous talent, but even the best don’t have their day every day.”

  • Comment 4, posted at 14.09.08 07:26:22 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 2) : I agree. My experience with rugby is that you play the game because you love it. Money is a HUGE incentive which we did not have. If, at any stage one would feel tired or sore, let alone injured, go and discuss it with your coach, who SHOULD then give you a decent rest. But to cry cry cry in the media, especially after some dismal performances is only underlining your mental weaknesses. And I had enough of Saffas’s crying. I will personally hit out at every single one of them that does it.

    KSA, if I slip, remind me, will ya? :mrgreen:

  • Comment 5, posted at 14.09.08 07:28:56 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : What I read there is that his coach is an understanding fellow. Maybe old Butch are just looking for some TLC. 😈

  • Comment 6, posted at 14.09.08 07:32:58 by Silver Fox Reply
    Silver Fox
  • @Silver Fox (Comment 6) : 🙂

  • Comment 7, posted at 14.09.08 07:42:01 by KSA Shark © Reply
    KSA Shark ©
  • I agree with Butch to a certain extent, but no-one but himself choose to play the amount of rugby he did. He choose to sign for Bath and add to his playing schedule.

  • Comment 8, posted at 14.09.08 08:57:42 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • You guys are hardly in a charitable mood this morning

  • Comment 9, posted at 14.09.08 09:18:25 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @robdylan (Comment 9) : But are we wrong?

  • Comment 10, posted at 14.09.08 09:37:51 by Sauce Reply
    Worcestershire Sauce
  • Legend… nuff said!

  • Comment 11, posted at 14.09.08 09:40:26 by bryce_in_oz Reply

  • @Sauce (Comment 10) : not completely

  • Comment 12, posted at 14.09.08 09:46:46 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • @KSA Shark © (Comment 4) : Good stuff. Butchy will come back. And it won’t take long either.

  • Comment 13, posted at 14.09.08 09:57:41 by klempie Reply

  • I like the attitude of the Bath coach.

  • Comment 14, posted at 14.09.08 09:59:55 by klempie Reply

  • Butch aint crying, just stating facts… and by the way, he was injured and didnt play for something like 6 weeks to 2 months while at Bath last season

  • Comment 15, posted at 14.09.08 10:00:02 by spykerbaard Reply

  • @spykerbaard (Comment 15) : Exactly. 🙂

  • Comment 16, posted at 14.09.08 10:07:46 by klempie Reply

  • @spykerbaard (Comment 15) : @klempie (Comment 16) : So he had a nice RESTING period of two months? 😯 Hehehe, he is crying.

  • Comment 17, posted at 14.09.08 11:03:38 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • Anybody that has known me and my posts through the years knows that I am a big supporter of Butch. I still am, and to be quite honest Silver Fox, you are quite simply wrong, Butch is not a whinger. That being said, he chose to sign with Bath for the money, so while I think it is important he is vocal about the issues of playing too much, he must admit it was his own fault that he chose to sign with a NH club after the RWC.

    That being said, with Butch’s knee problems throughout his career, one can not blame him for trying to make some money while he still could. I suppose we, as Springbok and Sharks supporters should be thankful that Butch was able to remain healthy through the RWC.

  • Comment 18, posted at 14.09.08 13:09:52 by Dancing Bear Reply
    Friend of Sharksworld
    Dancing Bear
  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 18) : Granted Dancing Bear. I really grant any rugby player as much money as they can possibly make. I wish them all to have a prosperous and injury free career. I also wish upon them all a quiet an uncomplaining attitude. SA sports people are always the first to complain and shoot themselves in the foot in the process. But go Butch!! 😛

  • Comment 19, posted at 14.09.08 13:26:41 by Silver Fox Reply

    Silver Fox
  • Legend…. nuff said!

  • Comment 20, posted at 14.09.08 14:57:05 by bryce_in_oz Reply


  • Comment 21, posted at 06.10.08 16:30:00 by craig Reply

  • @craig (Comment 21) : hey dude – welcome to the site.

    Is it necessary to shout, though?

  • Comment 22, posted at 06.10.08 16:37:08 by robdylan Reply
    Competition Winner Administrator
  • Talking to Marius Jouba’s old man this afternoon about the same thing and Butch is right. No ways any player can play that much. Once that body start taking to much he’ll break down and never get back.

  • Comment 23, posted at 06.10.08 16:39:49 by PaarlBok Reply

  • @Dancing Bear (Comment 18) :

    I agree DB. He cant have much time left to fill up the retirement coffers.
    He’s been a great servant to SA rugby and has missed most of the golden years through injury so I wish him well and hope he has a successful final few years of his career.

  • Comment 24, posted at 06.10.08 17:32:25 by VinChainSaw Reply
  • @PaarlBok (Comment 23) :

    Agreed PB. Reckon Butch is playing poker and going all in with every hand trying to squeeze as much as he can before the inevitable knee injury comes along and finishes it all.

  • Comment 25, posted at 06.10.08 17:33:53 by VinChainSaw Reply

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