Rugby

Bulls director of rugby Jake White wants success - quickly

12 April 2020 - 00:00 By KHANYISO TSHWAKU
Rugby World Cup winner Jake White has joined the Bulls as director of rugby.
Rugby World Cup winner Jake White has joined the Bulls as director of rugby.

Springbok Rugby World Cup winning coach of 2007, Jake White, who's now the Bulls' director of rugby, said his 2014 exit from the Sharks cast him in a negative light.

White, who coached Montpellier (France) and Toyota Verblitz (Japan) since his Durban departure, was accused of being authoritarian, inflexible and butted heads with senior players despite the Sharks reaching the Super Rugby semifinals that year. White had coached the Brumbies for two years before.

The tricky part

"It was very unfair. Players can say what they like and people believe that. It wasn't just unfair, it was disappointing because the door was always open for them to come and talk to me. I was doing what I thought was the best thing at the time," White said.

"We'd got to the Super Rugby semifinals and won three games on tour. We'd been a success in terms of the first year. I suppose when you're not picking certain players and they're not playing, they'd certainly moan."

The Bulls have head coach Pote Human, Chris Rossouw (backs) and Pine Pienaar (defence). The Pretoria franchise is 12th on the overall Super League log and fourth in the five-team SA conference with only one win from six matches. The SOS was sent to White (56), who said he would be hands-on with coaching.

"That's part of the role and I'm not the type who sits in the office. I'm going to be on the field coaching. The tricky part is going to see when rugby resumes. There's a lot of talk as to when rugby will resume and that's critical because there's players and coaches who have contracts until the end of October. What happens if we only play in October and November?" White said.

Changes everything

"That changes everything because that's a different season and broadcasters and sponsorships have to be fulfilled should the game resume. I don't know who will be around and what they'll be doing. That depends on when the game restarts."

White has often been accused of playing conservative rugby. He said this wasn't true as his teams have often been high try-scorers, but he said he would apply what he's learnt from his former teams to find what would work for the Bulls.

"We will play it the way we can to win games with the squad we have. It's going to take time to get the exact squad that we want; so you have to adapt. Thankfully, I've been coaching long enough to know what works for some teams, doesn't work for others. Hopefully, I can put everything I've learnt into some sort of recipe so we can get success as quickly as possible," White said.

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