Durban – Sharks coach Brad Macleod-Henderson says any possibility of working with Jake White would naturally be an exciting prospect.
The former Springbok World Cup-winning coach shocked the rugby world this week when his request for an early release from his Brumbies contract was granted, with immediate conjecture linking him to a return to a coaching role in South Africa.
Speculation suggested it could well be in Durban, but the official word from the Sharks has simply been that they would be willing to engage in talks with the 50-year-old were he available.
Macleod-Henderson said if such a move could become a reality, it would obviously be a boon for the Sharks.
“Everyone knows what a fantastic coach Jake White is, so I’m sure he could add value to the Sharks. So we’ll definitely look forward to it should that possibility come to fruition.”
Sharks chief executive John Smit has emphatically denied some reports that suggested it was already a done deal, but said: “Here at the Sharks we have a definite plan for our team. Could Jake White add value if available? Of course he can. He is a very successful coach with an amazing track record. We would welcome an opportunity to engage with him, should it so arise.”
Some reports had also linked White to the Clermont top job, but yesterday the French club confirmed Franck Azema as the head coach to replace outgoing Vern Cotter.
In discussing White’s departure from the Brumbies, a team he took to this year’s Super Rugby final, CEO Andrew Fagan said it had come as a complete shock to hear that he intended to stay in South Africa.
“To have Jake decide that he wants to pursue his international coaching ambitions from South Africa at this late stage is disappointing… But I understand his reasons for seeking the release. He was obviously very disappointed in missing out on the Wallabies’ job... He also has two sons who live in South Africa, who he misses a great deal, so when I sit back and look at it I can understand why he has made his decision.”