Currie Cup

Jake White on Covid battle: I lost close friends, it gave me perspective

Jake White is sporting a new beard for 2021 (Screengrab)
Jake White is sporting a new beard for 2021 (Screengrab)
  • Bulls mentor Jake White admitted that his bout of Covid-19 "struck him down", but helped him capture some useful perspective on matters as well.
  • While he himself was busy recovering, the former Springbok coach lost two close friends to the virus.
  • White hasn't managed to finalise his final 23 for Wednesday's clash against the Lions yet due to a few Covid tests being outstanding.

Jake White goes into 2021 with a neat haircut, a new beard and a successful if challenging recovery from Covid-19.

The Bulls' director of rugby on Monday admitted that the virus affected him substantially after he was one of the victims of the outbreak that struck the squad about three weeks ago.

"The virus certainly struck me down," the former Springbok coach admitted after announcing an extended squad for Wednesday's rescheduled Currie Cup clash against the Lions at Loftus.

"I was definitely in bed for a few days and gained a lot of perspective again on life in general."

His bout of illness also coincided with a sad few weeks in terms of relationships with close friends.

White was busy recuperating in the bedroom when he was informed that Arthur Underday, principle of HTS Drostdy, had succumbed to the virus before being hit with more tragedy with the news that his Springbok team manager, Arthob Petersen, too had passed away from Covid-related complications.

"I lost friends during this period. Not that we underestimated this pandemic, but I realised again that this virus is serious," he said.

"That's what I mean with getting some perspective during my off-time. I just realised again that we're also so lucky and privileged to do what we enjoy. I've really tried to return to the team with the renewed objective of having fun."

Despite not being physically present at Loftus for the Bulls' patchy training sessions over the festive season, White still made his input count.

"I was regularly in contact with my other coaches and the conditioning staff," he said.

"We were supposed to have a bye over the past few weeks anyway, which helped a bit. I've returned and I want to show everyone that I'm healthy, psyched and recharged.

"There are about 20 days left of this Currie Cup campaign and we have the opportunity to play at Loftus on three occasions during that period. I'm hoping my energy can inspire everyone around me."

Meanwhile, White noted that the Bulls' extended squad for the battle of the neighbours is down to a few outstanding Covid tests.

Bulls match squad: 

Lizo Gqoboka, Schalk Erasmus, Trevor Nyakane, Jan Uys, Ruan Nortje, Marco van Staden, Elrigh Louw, Duane Vermeulen, Embrose Papier, Chris Smith, Stravino Jacobs, Cornal Hendricks, Marnus Potgieter, Jay-Cee Nel, David Kriel, Johan Grobbelaar, Jacques van Rooyen, Marcel van der Merwe, Walt Steenkamp, Arno Botha, Tim Agaba, Ivan van Zyl, Morne Steyn, Keagan Johannes, David Kellerman, Jade Stighling, Jan-Hendrik Wessels, Joe van Zyl.  

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