Super Rugby

White: Matfield, Du Preez not ready to coach Bulls

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

Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White says ex-players Victor Matfield and Fourie du Preez are not ready to coach the Bulls.

Matfield and Du Preez were recently mentioned as potential candidates to replace John Mitchell as coach of the Pretoria franchise, with the New Zealander seemingly set to leave the Bulls and join England as their defence coach.

Matfield and Du Preez are Springbok and Bulls legends. They won the 2007 Rugby World Cup under White as mentor and also won Super Rugby titles with the Bulls on three occasions (2007, 2009 and 2010).

But that does not automatically qualify them to coach a Super Rugby team, White believes.

He expressed his thoughts via a column on the All Out Rugby website where he said coaches should gain experience at a lower level.

“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.

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.

An earlier report indicated that other coaches in line for Mitchell’s position at the Bulls were Jimmy Stonehouse, John Dobson and Hawies Fourie.

Stonehouse is the Pumas’ director of rugby and head coach, having recently returned from coaching the Toshiba Brave Lupus club in Japan, while Dobson and Fourie are the current coaches of Western Province and Maties, respectively.

Matfield did spend time as the Lions’ assistant coach last year.

READ Jake White’s full column on the All Out Rugby website

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