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Former Springbok coach Jake White snubbed from SA Rugby indaba

By Craig Ray | Oct 18, 2016 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Jake White (Sharks Director of Rugby) of the Cell C Sharks during the Cell C Sharks press conference at Growthpoint Kings Park on May 28, 2014 in Durban, South Africa. (Photo by Steve Haag/Gallo Images)

That the anticipated SA Rugby indaba starts on Wednesday October 20‚ nine years to the day since the Springboks won the 2007 World Cup final‚ only serves to highlight how far rugby standards have fallen.

Ex-Bok coach Jake White‚ who led the Boks to that triumph in Paris nine years ago‚ should be in attendance in Cape Town on Wednesday to share his views.

But he won’t be because he wasn’t invited.

“I haven’t been asked to attend or give any input‚” White told Times Media Digital from France.

“I do find it odd that you have a national seminar discussing the future of the Springboks and rugby in South Africa and not every influential role player will be there.

“That is a worrying sign about how serious this indaba is. I heard Heyneke Meyer wasn’t invited either‚ which is crazy if it's true.

“All coaches would have invaluable input.”

SA Rugby confirmed that most South African-based former Bok coaches were invited and that Carel du Plessis and Ian McIntosh were the only two to accept the invitation.

Nick Mallett and Andre Markgraaff declined‚ Peter de Villiers is in Namibia coaching while Heyneke Meyer’s involvement was still unclear.

The aging John Williams and Harry Viljoen‚ who has not been active in rugby for over a decade‚ were not invited.

White‚ despite what many in SA think about him‚ should be attendance because he is now the most senior active South African coach on the planet.

He is not universally loved but White holds one fundamental belief – that the Springboks should always be as good as the All Blacks.

New Zealand are the gold standard of world rugby and White’s unflinching conviction that South African players are second to none is a strength.

White is a great motivator who makes players believe they are peerless.

He won the Junior and senior World Cups with the SA Under-21s and Springboks respectively‚ and has coached at club level in Australia‚ South Africa and France.

All former Bok coaches‚ barring De Villiers‚ are inactive coaches‚ which should make White's opinion and input at this indaba crucial.

He also has a fundamental and intricate understanding of the challenges of Test rugby and South Africa's own unique challenges.

There is a sense that having strong personalities such as White‚ Mallett and De Villiers in the same room could be counter-productive rather than beneficial.

But there would only be one way to find out.

Former Saracens coach Bok centre Brendan Venter will facilitate the meeting along with respected sports psychologist Pieter Kruger.

All Super Rugby coaches have been invited and will attend along with the chief executives of the six franchises and various personnel from their organisations.

Cheetahs coach Franco Smith and Bulls coach Nollis Marais‚ who are both preparing their teams for Saturday’s Currie Cup final‚ will spend one day at the meeting.

SA Rugby’s High Performance department has drawn up the agenda and outline for the gathering. - TMG Digital


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