x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 18 January 2018

White wants a Springbok return

Jake White, the coach who masterminded South Africa's 2007 triumph, wants Eddie Jones if and when he takes over at the helm post the World Cup.

Jake White, left, and Eddie Jones, right, could team up once more on the international stage.
Jake White, left, and Eddie Jones, right, could team up once more on the international stage.

Jake White, the coach who masterminded South Africa's 2007 World Cup triumph, is targeting a return to the Springboks helm, and he wants Eddie Jones, the former Wallabies coach, alongside him. The celebrated coaching duo have remained close associates since they left the international stage after the last World Cup in France.

White employed the services of Jones, who had taken Australia to the previous World Cup final, in a short-term advisory capacity during that competition. After a stint with Saracens in the English Premiership, Jones is now in charge of Suntory in Japan, where he has frequently called on White's coaching expertise. The South African has remained actively involved in the game at a consultancy level. Now he is hoping to revive his career at the highest level after next year's World Cup in New Zealand.

"Having had four years out of international rugby, Eddie and I have thought about seeing if we can build another team with South Africa over the next period of four years," said White, 47. "That has crossed my mind and there is a possibility that Eddie and I would like to put our names in the hat and say, let's see if we can get another bash at coaching South Africa. "Because I have won a World Cup and felt what it was like, if me and Eddie ever went back into international rugby I'd like it to be with a team where we could re-experience all those emotions again."

White was replaced as South Africa coach by Peter de Villiers after guiding the Boks to the Webb Ellis Cup in Paris three years ago. His successor has enjoyed qualified success, in particular with a series victory over the British & Irish Lions last summer, but has rarely been far from controversy. White has spent the intervening time in relatively low-key coaching positions, but his ambition to return to the top level has now been "recharged".

"I miss the highest level, and I miss international rugby, but it is good for me to still be involved in the game," added White, whose position has been monitored by a variety of Super rugby franchises. "It is good for me to recharge that desire again to be involved. I started as a junior coach at schoolboy level and went up to the rank of international level. I'm a re-doing that again, and I am loving it. I'm loving coaching kids, and loving trying things out. At the international level you can't really try anything because it is so do-or-die.

"Here you can bring in new things or try new things and if they don't work, then it is not the end of the world. It is always good to be involved with a team over a long period of time. "Four years is a great way to build a team. For me to get back into the international stage would be post-World Cup, because it would give me time to see where the game goes, and see which of the teams might suit the way that I coach.

"Post-World Cup there are a lot of players that leave and a lot of young guys that come into the team so it is a nice way to start a new team." Meanwhile, Danie Rossouw, the Springbok forward, will win his 100th Super Rugby cap for the Pretoria Bulls after being named in the starting XV to face the Canterbury Crusaders in Pretoria on Friday. @Email:pradley@thenational.ae