Butch James invites the KZN school coaches to discuss u19 rugby

The correspondence from former Rugby World Cup winning Springbok flyhalf and Maritzburg College Old Boy, Butch James reads as follows: “please see attached invitation to join Jake White and Myself to a Cocktail Party to discuss U19 Rugby at the Sharks and other rugby matters going forward. Hope to see you there and to get your input.”

Cocktail Party Invite This function will probably be the formal introduction of Butch as the new face of under-19 recruitment for the Sharks.

Apart from being an introduction, it also looks like it will be an attempt by the Sharks to establish better or different working relationships with the local schools. No doubt the Sharks will be looking to get something out of this. Even if this is the case, hopefully something worthwhile and lasting comes out of the “get your input” part where the school coaches get to share their thoughts. For this to happen school coaches will need to be bold, honest and optimistic that the new Sharks management is going to listen and take them seriously.


With regards to Butch possibly being the new Sharks under-19 procurer, his high profile status is bound to open doors but his lack of experience at this stage does raise some questions about whether or not he will be able to perform the job successfully.

Here are a few of those questions:

  • Has he got the required eye for talent scouting?
  • What are his communicating and negotiating skills like?
  • Can he converse in Afrikaans and/or relate to families from traditionally Afrikaans backgrounds? (It’s perhaps not an essential but it is worth bearing in mind that the vast majority of top SA players are brought up with Afrikaans as their first language).
  • What is his knowledge of contract law like?
  • Has he got the necessary integrity to withstand the pressures of a job that is know for challenging morals and ethics on a daily basis?
  • As a new coach trying to establish him and with commitments at the union and to the Varsity Shield team, where will he find the necessary time to scout?

In the interests of the Sharks continuing to perform well in the years to come, favourable answers to the above would be welcomed.


  1. Very interesting, I don’t think he has the experience to do this but like Jake and John can always bring in consultants or assistants to help him. He is just the face of it…

  2. @Grasshopper: True. John is off to a great start with the Currie Cup win which also involved using a coaching staff untested at that level, so hopefully we will see similar success in this vital scouting field

  3. I am not sure how Butch will be regarding scouting, but I do feel he will be a brilliant Manager for the junior players.

    He is still young and very much with it, he will understand the young players needs etc

    I am sure he will excel

  4. Beast,Bismarck,PSDT,Bresler,Coetzee,Kankowski,Reinach,Lambie,Steyn*,Jordaan, Mvovo,

    So out of starting 15, 11 players

    *played a bit for FS juniors before coming to Sharks at age 19.

  5. Butch will be terrific….his Afrikaans I would think is probably better than Gavin’s too
    Beet bud – you have it all to be his 2IC/consultant as your knowledge is tops!!!!! Poppa da question beet or some one in the blog mix!! Your hard graft will be rewarded soon.


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