Wednesday, 2 June 2010

Bath rugby statement on Butch James

"Unfortunately Bath Rugby has had to withdraw Butch James from the match between South Africa and Wales this weekend as the date falls outside the international 'window' for June, agreed by all parties last year.

"Sadly the club didn't receive the letter from Saru [the South African Rugby Union], sent on 20 April, asking for Butch to play, so the issue has only quite recently come to our attention and we have sought clarification from the IRB as Saru were under the impression this weekend was within the agreed window.

"The first weekend in June is designated for rest and travel and not for matches, this is based primarily upon player welfare needs, to enable them to recuperate after the end of the season and before the summer internationals, which take place on the three subsequent weekends in June.

"It is very unfortunate for Butch, who is very keen to play for his country again, and we are fully supportive of this, but it does need to be within the internationally agreed parameters.

"We hope that he will get his chance next weekend and have explained the situation fully to him this evening [Tuesday] on the phone and apologised for the inconvenience and disappointment he has suffered."

BBC full report

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