By Elliot Mathye
Rugby team, the Lions will be delighted at the announcement that World Cup winning fly-half Butch James will be joining the team from May 1 from his former English club Bath. The good news was made public today when James touched ground at Lanseria Airport.
This move is sure to end assumption about the Springbok’s ambitions to help his team defend the title they won in 2007.
James is the first major signing this year to benefit billionaire businessmen Robert Gumede and Ivor Ichikowitz, the new and current owners of the Lions.
After an exhausting flight, James briefed the media that he was delighted to be joining the Johannesburg based team.
“I think the plans put in place for this team is amazing and I hope to be a small part of it so that one day I can be able tell my children about my involvement with this great team,” said James.
James arrived at the Northern Johannesburg airport on a privately owned jet which is said to be one of Ichikowitz’s investments, in what was seen as the most extravagant player announcements in South African rugby history.
“The first time I watched them play was during the Currie Cup last season and I guess that is when I decided to be part of the Team. Although the Sharks won the competition, the Lions were the most exciting team in the whole competition” he added.
Prior to the start of pre-season warm-up matches, the Lions signed a number of new and exciting players, but James is regarded the first big signing with international experience.
flyhalves Andre Pretorius, Elton Jantjies and Burton Francis will have to pull up their socks even higher if they still want to make the starting line-up because “James has arrived”.