OPINION: Having White on your team can only help

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen Time of article published Mar 11, 2020

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JOHANNESBURG – So, Jake White is being sought by the Bulls ...

According to their CEO Alfons Meyer they were to have discussions with White last Monday to discuss his present position in his career.

I’m saying, if he’s available and keen, the Bulls must hire him immediately.

The position of Director of Rugby at the Bulls is vacant following Alan Zondagh’s departure at the end of January, so there’s a place for White to return to his roots, so to speak.

While it’s no secret White is not everyone’s cup of tea and it’s believed he has rubbed certain individuals in SA rugby up the wrong way (mainly during his time as Bok boss between 2004 and 2007) what isn’t in dispute is his coaching pedigree.

White is a rugby-lifer, meaning he has spent just about his entire adult life involved in the game, and mainly as a coach.

It is all he knows, and I’d like to believe he knows a heck of a lot. And, I’d also like to think he can add value wherever he is employed.

White’s coaching career speaks for itself and when a franchise is looking for someone with a proven track record and a winning mentality that is all that should be talked about and discussed.

He was a successful schoolboy coach at Jeppe in Joburg, he led the South African Junior Boks to world glory and he led the Springboks to a World Cup triumph in 2007.

He had success at the Brumbies in Super Rugby, he had a good spell at the Sharks and he turned Montpellier into a force in France and Europe.

He most recently coached Verblitz in Japan but is again available for whoever is keen to have one of the sharpest rugby minds leading their professional arm.

If it’s the Bulls, good for them, and that’s no slight on Pote Human or any other coaches in the Pretoria-based set-up.

Professional sport is about winning.

It is all that matters at the end of the day.

Everything else comes second, and no-one wants to hear excuses or phrases like “we’re building”, “this is a transition” and, and, and ...

And teams need to gain whatever advantage they can on the opposition and the more experience and knowledge there is in a coaching team and environment the better.

There are not too many seasoned, hard-core coaches doing the rounds in South Africa at the moment and it’s perhaps a reason why some teams are struggling.

Many of this country’s top rugby men are working abroad, like Johan Ackermann, Johan van Graan, Heyneke Meyer until recently, Gary Gold, Allister Coetzee, among them. These are coaches who’ve travelled, learned and gained knowledge and experience.

White has done and seen it all, he’s experienced the highs and lows, worked with all sorts of players from different countries and he gets results.

Yes, there are young coaches in South Africa with bright futures, but many of them still have a way to go before being considered seasoned.

Former All Blacks boss John Mitchell gave the Bulls a bit of a shake-up when he joined the Pretoria team a few years ago, but perhaps they need someone similar, someone with real attitude, to get them on the right path again.

White might just be the man to do that, like him or not.

The Star

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