Full name Andrew David James
Born January 8, 1979, Johannesburg
Current age 36 years 237 days
Major teams Bath Rugby, Golden Lions, Lions, Natal Sharks, Sharks, South Africa
Height 6 ft 1 in
Weight 216 lb
|IRB Rugby World Cup||2007-2011||7||6||1||9||1||2||0||0||7||0||0||100.00|
|The Rugby Championship||2001-2011||20||16||4||51||1||5||11||1||6||13||1||32.50|
|Test debut||South Africa v France at Johannesburg, Jun 16, 2001 match details|
|Last Test||South Africa v Wales at Wellington, Sep 11, 2011 match details|
|Test Statsguru||Main menu | Career summary | Match list | Most points | Most tries | Tournament list|
South African outside-half Butch James made his bow on the international stage in the Springboks' 32-23 loss to France at Ellis Park in 2001.
James also started the following test against France, landing five penalties in a 20-16 win in Durban. He was cited and banned following the game for a late, dangerous hit on French wing David Bory. Moments such as this would come to characterise James' early career, and he developed an unwanted reputation for tackling with the shoulder that was often picked up on by referees.
His debut followed a successful first season in Super Rugby with the Sharks. They were defeated 36-6 in the final by ACT Brumbies, with James guilty of squandering four first half penalties. He was recalled for the 2001 Tri Nations and started every game from 10, but the South Africans could only register a single 20-15 win over Australia during the tournament.
A disastrous Northern Hemisphere tour followed for the Springboks, with James playing in defeats against France, Scotland and England before a series of career threatening knee injuries forced him from the international scene.
He tore his anterior cruciate ligament in 2001 and would not return for six months. James was unfortunate to repeat the injury in his right knee in the final game of the 2004 Super 12 season, leading to doubts as to whether he could continue at the highest level.
James showed great resilience and would return to the Springboks' setup for the 2006 Tri Nations, playing in losses to New Zealand and Australia. He travelled to England and Ireland on the Springboks' autumn tour, and looked to be claiming the 10 shirt for his own following a complete performance encompassing a try, conversion and two penalties against England at Twickenham.
James' bad luck would continue however, and late in the game he limped off with further knee problems and missed the second test victory. 2007 began well for James as he guided the Sharks to another Super Rugby final, this time losing 20-19 to fellow South Africans the Bulls.
James showed a new found confidence and composure in a Springbok jersey during the 2007 World Cup winning campaign, thriving under new responsibility and showing complete decision making skills as he helped to nullify the influence of Jonny Wilkinson during the final.
Following the World Cup James made the switch to Guinness Premiership side Bath, but returned to the Springbok outside half berth for the 2008 Tri Nations. His Bath career was also hampered by injury, but his gutsy style gave them added cutting edge.
James then announced during the 2010-11 season that he would return to South Africa and play for the Golden Lions. Following an extravegent unveiling at Johannersburg airport, James was thrust straight back into the Springboks team for the Tri-Nations.
And James will vie with Morne Steyn for the Boks' fly-half berth in the forthcoming World Cup.