White coming to KZN

2013-09-26 00:00

CAPE TOWN — Jake White will return to South Africa next year to coach the Sharks.

Sport24 has learned on good authority that White has agreed to be the Durban Rugby Union’s director of coaching.

This post is currently held by Brendan Venter, but the expectation has always been that Venter would only occupy the post as a short-term arrangement.

White yesterday confirmed that he has tendered his resignation as Brumbies coach. He had been coaching the team on contract for the past two years.

Under White, the Australian franchise regained their form after rugby in Canberra had sunk to a doubtful level before his arrival.

White recently visited Newlands in the Western Cape to watch a practice session of the Western Province and rub shoulders with local administrators.

His visit sparked speculation that he wanted to coach in the Western Cape, but this was never an option.

The Stormers and WP’s current training team comprising Allister Coetzee, Matt Proudfoot and Robbie Fleck are contracted until 2015 and there is no unhappiness with their work.

White did tell Sport24 during his visit that he would like to train a top rugby nation again. This may even be the Springboks. “I miss the rugby talent in South Africa. I am happy in Australia, but who knows: maybe it is possible that I can teach the next generation [in South Africa] everything I have learned there,” White said.

“South Africa regularly delivers some of the best players in the world. I know Australia also does, but just look at Fourie du Preez, Bryan Habana, Bismarck du Plessis, Jean de Villiers.

“Every coach wants to train the best players in the world.”

White recently had hopes of becoming the Wallabies coach, but this job went to Ewen McKenzie, who replaced Robbie Deans in the hot seat of Australia’s rugby.

White may see a coaching position at the Sharks as a step on the road to training the Boks again one day.

White said he does want to coach international rugby again “and I do want to win another World Cup. I am not ashamed to say so. There are only a handful of countries that can win the World Cup: England, France, New Zealand, Australia and South Africa. If it means I can coach the Boks again, that would be fantastic.”

White’s appointment at the Sharks means that he will report to John Smit, who captained the Boks when they won the Rugby World Cup in 2007.

Earlier this year Smit was appointed as the Sharks CEO amid much controversy, but the union is now moving in the right direction in the Currie Cup Series.

The Sharks are top of the log and the union has a new generation of promising young players moving up the ranks.

Management at the Sharks yesterday did not want to comment on White’s future with the team.

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