Jake White hits out: Red Bok jersey a marketing tool

Jake White (Gallo Images)
Jake White (Gallo Images)

Cape Town - Former national team coach Jake White has launched a scathing attack on the administrators who opted for the Springboks to wear a red jersey in their away Rugby Championship Test against Argentina in Salta on August 26.

SA Rugby last week announced that the jersey had been commissioned to mark the 25th anniversary of rugby unity in South Africa.

The Springboks traditionally play in a white away jersey, and normally only when there is a colour clash against Ireland.

Former lock Bakkies Botha hit out at the red Bok jerseys last week - and White agrees with him.

Via a column for All Out Rugby, White rubbished SA Rugby’s explanation that the jersey is to celebrate 25 years of rugby unity.

“The Springboks are going to play a Test in a red jersey. Doc Craven must be turning in his grave. Everything he warned about money changing rugby if it went professional is coming true," White wrote.

“I read in the paper that the red jersey is to celebrate 25 years of rugby unity. That’s rubbish, it’s a marketing tool to sell more jerseys.

“If we can’t sell the green and gold jersey, and we need to turn it red to sell it, then we’ve got a serious problem.”

White, who coached the Boks to the Rugby World Cup title in 2007, questioned the timing of the colour change and added that someone should be held accountable.

“A decade after being number one in the world, we’re changing the colour of our jersey. The question is why? And who is responsible for that slide? Coaches get hired and fired, and scrutinised and measured according to stats and results, but where is the analysis on the administrators’ performance?”

READ Jake White’s full column on All Out Rugby

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