Cotter backs James to shine

Coach hails 'tough as teak' fly-half

Last Updated: 06/05/10 6:29pm

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James: Will shine

James: Will shine

Sky Bet

Clermont fly-half Brock James has been backed to shake off his 'choker' tag and kick the club to the Top 14 title.

The 28-year-old Australian has been accused of going into his shell in big games - with him suffering a nightmare performance against Leinster in this season's Heineken Cup quarter-final.

James, who has finished as the league's top-scorer for three of the past four years, has dismissed the criticism, saying: "I ignore a lot of it as I am my own worst critic."

And although he has hardly shone in the last three Top 14 finals, James has been backed to rise to the occasion by coach Vern Cotter.

"Brock is a tough-as-teak competitor and we will support him through thick and thin," said Cotter.

"And I know that he will come back as strong as ever."

Clermont have reached the end-of-season play-off final on 10 occasions but are yet to lift the Bouclier de Brennus.

However, they must first overcome Racing Metro on Friday and then Toulon in the semi-final if they are to reach an 11th showpiece.

Perpignan remain the favourites to defend their crown, with Toulouse and Castres facing each other in Saturday's first elimination match.

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