French club Perpignan want to contract Butch James as replacement

2014-01-28 00:00

BLOEMFONTEIN — Butch James may be lacing up his rugby boots again a lot sooner than he anticipated.

The 35-year-old former Springbok scrumhalf, who last year played for the Sharks, announced his retirement after last year’s Currie Cup series.

He has meanwhile been appointed as assistant coach for the UKZN Impi, who are coached by John Mitchell in the Varsity Shield.

The French newspaper Midi Olympique on Friday reported that the club Perpignan want to contract James to be a “medical replacement” for the injured Camille Lopez.

A knee injury means Lopez will not be available to play for the French in the Six Nations campaign.

James, Fauqué Sébastien, Thomas Bakehouse and the Stormers’ Gary van Aswegen are the other names Midi Olympique reports to be on Perpignan’s possible contract list.

James was not present when the Impi played the Central University of Technology in a Varsity Shield match yesterday and could also not be reached for comment. He was in Stellenbosch attending a coaches’ symposium hosted by Rassie Erasmus.

James now has to make a difficult choice: earn euros or get experience under a top coach like Mitchell.

Talk in the corridors is that James could in future be involved with the Sharks if he succeeds with the Impi.

Van Aswegen was recently included in the Stormers’ Super group and will compete against Demetri Catrakilis and Kurt Coleman for the number 10 jersey.

Peter Grant will only join the Stormers later.

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