Bitter World Cup winner White announces Springbok exit
A bitter Jake White announced on Wednesday that he is to quit as
coach of South Africa’s World Cup winning rugby team, accusing Springbok
bosses of bouncing him out of the job.
White, who has been linked with coaching positions with rival
national sides, said he would take the team to Britain next month for
matches against Wales and his swan-song against the multi-national
Barbarians on December 1.
“The match against the Barbarians at Twickenham will be my last as
Springbok coach,” White told reporters at a press conference in Cape
“I walk away with no regrets but plenty of sadness.”
White was “extremely disappointed” to have been informed via email
that he would not be considered for a new contract after he failed to
reapply for his job, claiming that he should not have had to put his
hand up, and said he had not been given adequate time to consider his
“My contract as Springbok coach is clear, that I was not obliged to
apply and that all considerations would be discussed at my annual review
(in December when his current deal expires),” he said.
“I did ask for time to consider my options as I was mindful of making
a wrong decision based on emotion. This time was not afforded me and
that is particularly disappointing.”
The 43-year-old, who has been in charge of the national team since
2004, has been in hot demand with the Australian Rugby Union revealing
on Tuesday that White’s agent had been in touch about the vacant
Wallabies post. He has also been linked to the England and Wales
The South African Rugby Union is understood to be considering four
candidates as coach, including former Springbok winger Chester Williams,
Pretoria Blue Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer and Pieter de Villiers, who is
in charge of the under-21 side.
White had long had a testy relationship with SARU bosses and was
summoned back home in the middle of a tour to Britain at the end of last
year to explain the team’s poor form.
SARU president Oregan Hoskins was quoted in The Star newspaper on
Wednesday as saying White was trying to portray himself as a victim even
though he had informed board members of his intention to quit some time
“Jake was seen as someone who was never prepared to give the whole
story and relied on public sentiment after the World Cup to support his
cause as a martyr,” said Hoskins.
“The unfortunate thing is that Jake is now portrayed as the victim
and the council as a bunch of idiots who just did not like him after we
won the World Cup.
“But that’s just not fair and it’s not the whole story as there are a
lot of people in SA Rugby who stood by Jake and supported him during
some of his darkest moments in the job.”