He conquered international rugby and has led a Super Rugby revival in Canberra, but Jake White says he’s not preparing for a code swap to the AFL despite tasting instant success with the Melbourne Demons.
Brumbies head coach Jake White sat in the box with the Melbourne Demons last weekend.
The ACT Brumbies coach is fast becoming a lucky charm after ”joining” the Demons as they broke through for their first win of the AFL season last Saturday night.
The South African World Cup winner used his time in Victoria last week to get a behind-the-scenes look at one of the oldest clubs in Australia to see how Demons mentor Mark Neeld operated.
He didn’t give an inspiration half-time speech to try to lift the struggling Demons. But White says his time at the MCG provided invaluable experience.
”I joked with them when I left and said, ‘sorry boys, I can’t come back down next week’,” White said.
”It was very interesting for me to see up there.
”They have 13 computers in the coaches’ box all going through statistics and analysis. All the development coaching staff was there and it was very professional.
”You can see how much work behind the scenes there are in terms of tactics.”
White flew to Japan yesterday for a brief stint with the NTT Communications club to see if there’s anything else he can pick up before returning to Canberra.
After the Brumbies beat the Melbourne Rebels on Friday night, White ordered his players to ”get away from rugby” to recharge before their finals bid.
But White is continuing his international and cross-code search for a competitive advantage.
Demons coach Neeld had been under the pump after failing to record a win in his debut AFL campaign. They were expected to lose again against one of the premiership favourites, Essendon.
However, they held on for a tight six-point win and emotion spilled over afterwards. White was in the changeroom when the players belted out the team song.
”To see a game like that and how they worked when it got close, was fantastic,” White said.
”It wasn’t so much about what I could take back to Canberra, it was about reaffirming certain things.
”I think what I learnt was just how much work goes in, how they get messages out and the staff you can add on match day.
”You can’t copy it, but you can use things, they’re big on stats and that was interesting.”
The Brumbies have been given a brief break before returning to training later this week.
They sit five points clear at the top of the Australian conference and their next Super Rugby game is against the Western Force in Perth on June 30.
However, White’s fringe players will get a chance to push for Super Rugby selection when the Brumbies play Wales in a mid-week clash at Canberra Stadium on June 12.