Veteran flyhalf Butch James is focused on the next chapter of his career and believes there is still enough gas in the tank to challenge young Elton Jantjies for the Lions playmaker role.
The 32-year-old is well aware of how difficult his task will be to get the nod ahead of Jantjies, who starred in the Lions Currie Cup triumph.
"He [Jantjies] has played unbelievably well and it's tough trying to find a place in the team at the moment so I might have to try out on the flank to get a game," James quipped in an interview with this website.
"I'll assess the team and look for the weak spot and ask to play there - I just hope it isn't in the front row,' he added.
"Elton [Jantjies] is one of the best flyhalves in the country at the moment and he's keeping me out of the team, so I'll need to train hard if I want to get the No.10 jersey off his back.
James, as one of the more experienced players in the Lions side, will also have an important job to do as a mentor to Jantjies.
"Over the past year I have found myself as an older guy in the team so there is some extra responsibility with that," he said.
"The Lions team is perceived to be very young, but there are a few older heads and some good leaders in the side."
With a Currie Cup title under their belts, the Lions will move into the Super Rugby season with renewed confidence and James is as excited as anyone to be part of a new era in the Johannesburg side's history.
"You can feel the excitement when you walk around the corridors at the offices or at training and with some more hard work the Lions could go from strength to strength," he explained.
"This team is starting to look more like the powerful Union it was in the past."
By Timmy Hancox
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