‘I’d love to coach Oz’

2014-05-09 00:00

SHARKS director of rugby Jake White has admitted his heart was still close to Australia, and in particular the Wallabies’ coaching position.

The ex-Springbok boss was speaking in Canberra as he wound down preparations for a top-of-the-table Super Rugby showdown with former employers the Brumbies tomorrow.

It is his first trip Down Under after quitting the city’s franchise midway through a four-year contract, much to the surprise of many, with the decision having come on the back of losing out to Ewen McKenzie in the race of the Australian post.

“I’ve thought about it long and hard and I would love the Wallabies job,” White said. “I’ve said it many times to many journalists while I was here … I’d love to coach internationally again.

“The mere fact that it wasn’t an opportunity and another opportunity presented itself — rightly or wrongly, selfishly, whichever way you look at it — I just decided it was time for me to be back closer to my family, my network, based on the fact that the landscape had significantly changed.

“I would like to coach internationally again and I wasn’t aware that if I left I could still never coach Australia.”

The 51-year-old has made no secret of his desire to coach on the highest stage following his successful initial adventure with South Africa, who he lead between 2004 and 2007, guiding them to the World Cup title in France.

Even when he arrived in Durban, Sharks chief executive officer John Smit acknowledged that he would not stand in White’s way had a country he wanted to coach come calling.

“I mean, I’m a young guy and there’s a lot more international rugby and anyone who has coached at that level always looks for that opportunity,” White said.

His latest comments came as he announced his team to take on the Brumbies in one of the most highly-anticipated games of the season to date, not least because of White’s history at the Australian Capital Territories outfit, who he led to the competition final last year.

There are three personnel changes to the side that beat the Rebels 22-16 in Melbourne last Friday, along with one positional switch, but more notably, there is no recognised back-up goal-kicker to Frans Steyn in the 23-player list.

Fred Zeilinga, who has returned home after picking up a hamstring injury, was on the bench last week, but White has opted not to bring in Tim Swiel, the next-in-line fly-half who has had two less-than-impressive outings thus far this term.

It means that kicking duties may fall to the unrecognised Cobus Reinach or SP Marais should an injury befall the versatile Steyn.

Amongst the changes, S’bura Sithole has been drafted in at outside centre with Paul Jordaan shifting inside as Heimar Williams drops out of the run-on XV.

Scrum-half Reinach is back in the starting line-up for the first time in almost two months following a broken hand — Charl McLeod shifts to the bench — and Keegan Daniel comes in at flank for Marcell Coetzee, another player that has been sent back to Durban after picking up a shoulder injury.

Looking ahead to the game, White added, “We had an extra day to prepare for this match, more time to plan and first playing second on the log is obviously a massive game.

“It’s irrelevant that I was there, or now I’m with the Sharks, the point is that in the 2014 competition, it’s number one playing number two.”

Sharks team: Lwazi Mvovo, Odwa Ndungane, S’bura Sithole, Paul Jordaan, JP Pietersen, Frans Steyn, Cobus Reinach, Ryan Kankowski, Jean Deysel, Keegan Daniel, Stephan Lewies, Willem Alberts, Jannie du Plessis, Bismarck du Plessis, Tendai Mtawarira.

Replacements: Kyle Cooper, Dale Chadwick, Lourens Adriaanse, Etienne Oosthuizen, Tera Mtembu, Charl McLeod, Heimar Williams, SP Marais.

Join the conversation!

24.com encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.