Jake White’s departure ‘not all bad’ for Sharks

2014-09-30 00:00

JAKE White’s decision to leave the Sharks should be viewed “positively”, says former Kwa-Zulu-Natal Rugby Union president Kevin Dunkley.

White dropped a bombshell on the Durban franchise yesterday when news broke that he was stepping down as director of rugby.

He was reportedly set to return to Cape Town to be closer to his family and to make himself available for an international coaching job ahead of next year’s Rugby World Cup in England. It was not known yesterday whether or not White had received any official offers from any of the 20 participating nations.

The brains behind the Springboks’ 2007 World Cup success guided the Sharks to the semi-finals of this year’s Super Rugby competition, but had taken a “hands off” approach during the current Currie Cup season, where Brad Macleod-Henderson has been largely in charge. White served less than a year of his original three-year deal at King’s Park, but Dunkley suggests that his departure is not necessarily a bad thing.

“Jake [White] is a World Cup-winning coach and you can never take that away from him,” Dunkley told The Witness yesterday. “But I think that this should be viewed as something positive. A lot of the spectators weren’t happy with his conservative style and kicking game, and this gives an opportunity for somebody new to come in.”

Sharks supporters, said Dunkley, should not be concerned about the future.

“The guys coaching the Currie Cup side right now have instilled a very good team spirit. Whether they get somebody internally to replace Jake or cast the net wider, you know that they will have a top coach.”

Before joining the Sharks in October last year, White coached the Brumbies to the Super Rugby final in 2013.

He was also heavily linked to the Australian national team post.

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