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James retires

Afp
Wednesday, April 18, 2012

JOHANNESBURG - South Africa's 2007 World Cup-winning five-eighth Butch James is retiring from Test rugby.

The 33-year-old is not a first choice at Super Rugby side the Lions and new Springboks coach Heyneke Meyer has an embarrassment of riches for the pivot role.

Incumbent Morne Steyn faces challenges from rising stars Patrick Lambie, Elton Jantjies and Johan Goosen ahead of a June home series against England.

James won the first of 42 caps in 2001 against France and his last as a replacement against Wales in the unsuccessful World Cup defence last year.

"I am not getting any younger and I knew this was the right decision to make, even though it was very difficult," James said in a statement on Monday.

He will continue playing for the Lions, who are propping up the Super table with just one victory.