Butch at flyhalf for Lions
Butch James is at ten for the Golden Lions as they start the defence of their Currie Cup title against the Free State Cheetahs in Johannesburg on Saturday.
James, who has been playing most of his rugby at centre as Elton Jantjies was preferred as pivot. He takes over from the young Springbok who is currently preparing for the inaugural Rugby Championship with the national squad.
In an experienced squad with no real surprises, there is also good news that CJ van der Linde joins his 2007 World Cup-winning team-mate James in the 22. Van der Linde is on the bench after injury. Loose forward Warren Whiteley also makes a welcome return after a long-term injury.
Up front in the Lions line-up, Josh Strauss is at blindside flank with Derick Minnie moving to number eight and Cobus Grobbelaar getting in at six, where Minnie used to ply his trade.
In the front-row selection, Jacobie Adriaanse, Callie Visagie and new captain JC Janse van Rensburg form a formidable unit that has dominated in the latter Super Rugby matches.
Golden Lions: 15 Andries Coetzee, 14 JR Esterhuizen, 13 Lionel Mapoe, 12 Waylon Murray, 11 Anthony Volmink, 10 Butch James, 9 Michael Bondesio, 8 Derick Minnie, 7 Josh Strauss, 6 Cobus Grobbelaar, 5 Franco van der Merwe, 4 Hendrik Roodt, 3 Jacobie Adriaanse, 2 Callie Visagie, 1 JC Janse van Rensburg (capt).
Replacements: 16 Francois du Toit, 17 CJ van der Linde, 18 Willie Britz, 19 Warren Whiteley, 20 Ross Cronje, 21 Guy Cronje, 22 Ruan Combrinck.