Why Jake signed so many SA players

Jake White (AP)
Jake White (AP)

Cape Town - Montpellier coach Jake White has revealed why he opted to lure several South Africans to the French club.

White started coaching Montpellier late last year and wasted no time to sign a large contingent from his home country.

Recent South Africans signings there include Bismarck du Plessis (hooker, Sharks), Jannie du Plessis (prop, Sharks), Pierre Spies (No 8, Bulls), Bees Roux (prop, Oyonnax), Schalk van der Merwe (Lions, prop), Demetri Catrakilis (Stormers, flyhalf), Jacques du Plessis (Bulls, loose forward/lock), Cameron Wright (Sharks, scrumhalf/flyhalf), Wiaan Liebenberg (Bulls, loose forward) and Paul Willemse (Grenoble, lock).

Former Lions prop Jacobie Adriaanse will also join Montpellier for a short stint until after the Rugby World Cup (October 31).

Former Springbok Shaun Sowerby is also White's assistant coach, while Pat Cilliers (prop) and Robert Ebersohn (centre) already ply their trade there.

White copped criticism in some quarters for signing so many players from South Africa, but the former Bok coach revealed that five of the signed players would be 'jokers' to cover the squad during this year’s Rugby World Cup.

"Some of the signings will be there for the duration of the World Cup to cover for our internationals," White told French rugby newspaper Midi Olympique.

"And in general, South African players are more available than others at this time of year. I know enough to be sure that these players will work hard.

"They want to win and to give something to the club, instead of just taking from it.

"Before, Montpellier was like a station! People came here, took what they could and walked away.

"We don't have a legacy yet, so we have to give the club one. And with South African players, I know that I don't have to worry about them."

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