He can dominate a game from that channel
Veteran Springbok Butch James will play anywhere ... well probably not prop. However, he has again showed that he is best at flyhalf, simply world class in the No.10 jersey.
After a miserable Super Rugby campaign in which he helped out in the midfield, James 'requested' that he be moved back to flyhalf and stand-in Golden Lions coach Johan Ackermann obliged.
The result was simply stunning - a man of the match performance in the defending champion Lions' impressive 43-20 humbling of the Free State Cheetahs in a first-round Currie Cup match last week.
"Butch was outstanding," Ackermann told this website, adding: "He showed flyhalf is his best position.
"He has the experience in the No.10 channel and he can dictate a game from there," the Lions mentor said.
The 33-year-old James, who is retired from international rugby, played just two of his 42 Tests for South Africa at inside centre and once came off the bench. In all the others he all started at flyhalf - including the victorious campaign at the 2007 World Cup
It is that form James put on display against the Cheetahs, as he dictated terms for his team.
"I was very pleased with his performance at No.10 and it comes at a good time for us ... with Elton [Jantjies] being called up to the Springbok team," Ackermann told this website.
"Lionel [Mapoe] and Waylon [Murray] are busy developing into a good midfield combination.
"We have two very young wings [JR Esterhuizen and Anthony Volmink], who I feel will get better as they gain experience. And at fullback Andries Coetzee performed very well for a player who had just come back from a lengthy lay-off.
"However, it is just the first week, there is a long road ahead and the challenges will just get tougher."
Asked how important the experience of James will be as they move on in defence of their Currie Cup crown, Ackermann said your halfbacks are always crucial to any game.
"[Scrumhalf] Michael Bondesio are playing better every week ... he has the heart of a lion.
"The advantage [of Butch James] is that we don't have to blood a young guy in such a short, tough competition.
"Butch will be invaluable to us there [at flyhalf] and if he continues with the form he showed at the weekend it will be a huge boost for us.
"He is crucial to our cause. He produced a very rounded performance, but it is because he is in his preferred position at No.10 ... he told me that is where he wants to play.
"He will always help out at No.12, but he doesn't enjoy inside centre.
"He showed Saturday exactly why flyhalf is his best position ... he can dominate a game from that channel.
"What also worked in his favour is that he hasn't kicked at goal in a game for some time and he was on song with that as well. It gives us the assurance that we have someone [an accomplished goal-kicker] that can take over from Elton [Jantjies]. He has a very simplified kicking style, but very effective.
"If he can maintain that form for the rest of the Currie Cup competition it will be great."
By Jan de Koning