South African flyhalf Butch James comes out of the Test wilderness Saturday against Australia with a World Cup starting place on the line.
James replaces talented but inexperienced Patrick Lambie in one of 13 changes from the team that conceded six tries in a humiliating 7-40 defeat by New Zealand two weeks ago.
Ace goal-kicker Morné Steyn was favourite to wear the No.10 green and gold jersey when the World Cup kicks off in New Zealand next month, but his disastrous Australasia tour has opened the door for James.
Flyhalf when South Africa were crowned world champions in Paris four years ago, James lost his place when he moved to English club Bath and coach Peter de Villiers concentrated on home-based stars.
De Villiers urged foreign-based Springboks to return home this year and James heeded the call, turning out for the Lions in the Super Rugby championship.
A good showing by James in a Springbok team desperate for revenge after a virtual 'B' team fell 20-39 to the Wallabies could edge him ahead of Steyn and Lambie in the pivot pecking order with only a Test against New Zealand to come before the World Cup.
"Everyone in the camp - from the youngest player to the coach - is talking about the importance of winning against Australia," revealed the 32-year-old.
"That was a Springbok team overseas, no matter who played in it, and we are all feeling the pain. While you can speak about it as much as you like, it is the talking we do on the field that counts."
James last played for the Springboks in a 44-31 Tri-Nations triumph over the Wallabies in Pretoria last season and confessed that being a senior member of the squad makes him appreciate even more being called up.
"Being chosen for the Springboks is special second time round after a period in the wilderness. The older one becomes, the more you realise you are not going to be around forever.
"As a youngster you tend to take call-ups for granted, but now every time you get together with the Springbok squad you treat it like it is the last time," he told reporters in this Indian Ocean city.
While James has yet to match the goal-kicking exploits of Steyn, he is superior at crossing the gain line and possesses flair - a rare commodity of late among Springbok backs.
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