Super Rugby
James confirms Lions switch
ESPNscrum Staff
February 1, 2011
Butch James has confirmed a two-year deal with the Lions © Getty Images

Butch James has confirmed that he will quit Bath at the end of the season to return to South Africa with the Lions.

The World Cup-winning Springbok fly-half has signed a two-year deal with the ambitious Johannesburg franchise, backed by billionaire investors Robert Gumede and Ivor Ichikowitz, ending a four-year stay in the Premiership.

James, 32, will compete with promising youngster Elton Jantjies and Andre Pretorius for the No.10 jersey and is hoping to reinforce his Springbok claims. Prior to joining Bath he played Super Rugby for the Durban-based Sharks.

"The Lions' vision excites me and I'm also very keen to be part of the Springboks for the World Cup again," he said. "Being able to contribute to the sport of rugby with a franchise that has this level of commitment to transformation and growth of the game is an opportunity I want to be involved in."

Lions coach John Mitchell added: "Butch comes with a wealth of experience and has tremendous value to add to the Lions. I'm really looking forward to working with a player with Butch's calibre and experience. I've always believed in developing youngsters as part of the expansion process and exposing them to experienced mentors such as Butch."

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