Cape Town - Victor Matfield has hit back at Jake White’s claims that he is not yet ready to coach at the highest level.
“Jake has always had an opinion about everything. I wonder if he knows that I coached at the Bulls for three years and last season at the Lions. I believe there is a place for both (types) of coaches. The one who works himself up from school and club level and the one who makes the transition sooner," Matfield said in an interview with Netwerk24.
Matfield and former Springbok and Bulls team-mate Fourie du Preez were recently mentioned as potential candidates to replace John Mitchell as coaches of Bulls, with the New Zealander seemingly set to leave Pretoria and join England as their defence coach.
But White, a former Springbok coach, said via a column last week that the legendary Springbok duo would not be the right men to take the Bulls forward.
“John Mitchell couldn’t get the Bulls to be successful this year. He’s got a longer CV than anyone on the Bulls shortlist and he had an 85-percent win-rate with the All Blacks. Put in the same situation, two guys with almost no coaching experience are not going to make it because they’re going to make their coaching mistakes at the highest level instead of at high school," White wrote on the All Out Rugby website.
White also criticised the coaching structures in South African rugby.
“How can you have a system where a guy who has never coached leapfrogs everybody? The truth may be frightening - there probably is no system. Why are we in that situation?
“We’re at the point where coaching experience is not required to be on the shortlist for a Super Rugby job. How far are we from having a Bok coach who has never coached?” White questioned.
Matfield used former Proteas cricketer Mark Boucher and current Bok coach Rassie Erasmus as examples of players who quickly became good coaches.
Boucher has achieved success with the Titans cricket team, while Erasmus coached the Cheetahs to the Currie Cup title in his first season after retiring from playing.
Matfield, however, said the reports linking him to the Bulls job were speculation and added that at the moment his focus was on his job as a pundit for SuperSport.