Jake White sheds a tear after watching the Springboks win the Rugby World Cup

Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jake White. He was coach of the Springboks when they lifted the Webb Ellis trophy in Paris in 2007.
Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jake White. He was coach of the Springboks when they lifted the Webb Ellis trophy in Paris in 2007.
Image: PASCAL GUYOT / AFP

Former Springbok coach Jake White said South Africa's 32-12 Rugby World Cup final win against England in Yokohama on Saturday left him with a satisfactory sense of déjà vu and a little tear in his eyes.

White will know the joy of winning a World Cup all too well as he was at the helm when South Africa claimed their second title by beating England 15-6 in Paris in 2007.

White was in Japan on Saturday where he watched the game.

“It's fantastic here and the people are excited.

"It's been phenomenal and the reality is that it's been phenomenal for SA and wonderful for the country.

"There's a fair bit of déjà vu for me and I've got a little tear in my eye thinking about what it was like 12 years ago‚” White said from Japan.

“I can't feel more proud than I am now thinking about the fact I've the privilege to watch them win another World Cup. It's three now.

"I hope we use this as a positive‚ build on this and continue to be the best team in the world.”

While the 2007 final was a tightly fought affair that SA controlled from start to finish‚ the Boks took charge of Saturday's game and hit coach Eddie Jones's side out of the water.

Jones‚ who's yet to win a World Cup as a head coach‚ was a consultant for White.

Jones was at the helm for Australia when they lost to England 20-17 in the 2003 final while Saturday's loss was his second one.

The forwards were uncompromising on Saturday and White praised coach Johan “Rassie” Erasmus for ensuring that the Boks stuck to their traditional forward strength.

What also impressed White was SA's ability to vary play and make sure that they asked questions from all parts of the field.

“South Africa played to their strengths.

"They picked a six-two bench with six forwards on the bench.

"The reality was that they were always going to play that way. They just stuck with what they did well the whole competition‚” White said.

“I spoke at a function where we said we're underdogs and its funny because we're in that position even though we've won the Rugby Championship and beating Wales‚ who are the Six Nations champions.

"SA have incredible strength‚ they have a massive pack of forwards while Cheslin Kolbe and Makazole Mapimpi were excellent. It was a phenomenal performance.”


X