Jake White has a dream

Jake White has made no secret of the fact that he would jump at the opportunity to take charge of Australia’s national team.

White, speaking to The Australian newspaper, added further fuel to the constant speculation over the position of Wallaby coach Robbie Deans when he stated that it is a “dream” of his to one day lead Australia’s national team.

The 2007 World Cup-winner, White, who was inducted into the IRB’s Hall of Fame last year, is busy in the midst of Super Rugby pre-season preparations with the Brumbies.

However, his success in his first year in charge of the Canberra-based outfit, where he took them to within a bonus point of an unlikely play-off spot, again reminded the main rile players in Australia of his coaching pedigree.

White, a two-time IRB coach of the year, arrived in Canberra after a four-year hiatus from full-time coaching – when he was unceremoniously dumped by the South African Rugby Union after he guided the Springboks to success in France in 2007

Speaking to The Australian, White made it clear he still held ambitions to return to coaching at the highest level.

“It was a very conscious choice I made to come and coach at the Brumbies,” White told the newspaper.

“They have always been regarded as an organisation who pushed the boundaries and were at the forefront of innovation in world rugby,” he added.

“After I finished with the Springboks, I knew I wanted to get back into coaching, but I needed to wait for the right job, a job which would be mutually beneficial. As a coach, you need to be growing and learning every day, particularly if you have a desire to coach at international level, which I most certainly do.

“That passion has not died in me. It is the ultimate test and I believe I have a great deal to offer as an international coach.

“Obviously my focus is here with the Brumbies. I am not someone who ever looks too far ahead. I know how quickly things can change. But you ask would I like to coach the Wallabies. Of course that is a dream job. They are one of the premier rugby teams in the world and I would love the opportunity to be a part of the Wallabies set-up.”

White has the support of Brumbies skipper Ben Mowen, who compared the sharp-tongued South African to Rugby League super coach Wayne Bennett.

“He just seems to know the right buttons to push,” Mowen told The Australian.

“He has a relationship with each player that is unique and coaches like that are the sort of blokes you want to play for.

“I know they say Wayne Bennett has a similar rapport with his players. The other thing Jake does is surround himself with good people.”

Speak to anyone within the Brumbies organisation and very little time will pass without the mention of the work of White’s right-hand men, assistant Lawrie Fisher and performance director Dean Benton.

“They are two guys with very strong opinions on how things should be done,” White said.

“I have said before I could have employed guys I knew; ‘yes’ men who just do what they are told. Instead I employed Dean and Lawrie. They certainly don’t fall within that category.

“If something needs to be said, they aren’t afraid to say it. Sometimes even when things don’t need to be said, they will say it.”

For his part, Fisher was happy to endorse White’s credentials, though with a caveat.

“Look, you only have to look at Jake’s track record to know he would be an outstanding appointment,” Fisher said.

“Jake’s great strength is his ability to sell a message and get everyone pulling in the same direction.

“When you have that, it is a very powerful thing.

“The only thing for me is, I suppose I am a little bit old-school where I would like to see the job go to an Aussie, but that’s just me.”

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17 comments for “Jake White has a dream

  1. avatar
    The Year of the Cheetah
    December 9, 2012 at 12:52 pm

    Hmmm not sure if this will be a great fit. White surely is more Deans-like in approach where the current Ozzie greats seem to thrive on a bit more freedom.

    It will however create a world of kak fo the boks if Jake were to take up some consultancy possie with the Ozzie Union. He will poach saffas at will and has bucketloads of international experience to share.

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  2. avatar
    December 9, 2012 at 3:10 pm

    Rugby is so inclusive, especially in the SANZAR unions – will not work for you Jakey.

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  3. avatar
    December 9, 2012 at 3:28 pm

    Reply to Morné @ 3:10 pm:

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  4. avatar
    December 9, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    Reply to Boertjie @ 3:28 pm:

    If Oz, Boks or NZ appoint a foreign coach you take 10 steps back already. One of Deans’ major problems imo – not because he is a bad coach, but because he is not Ozzie.

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  5. avatar
    December 10, 2012 at 12:11 am

    The most fertile ground for Jake to spore and spawn is England I think.
    That won’t ever happen due to the anomaly that just occurred in London.
    The Earl Grey geeks at the top snicker to themselves while out fox hunting how their man Stu was finally able to “right the ship”.
    I think Jake could do well in Australia – he is the Chuck Norris of International rugby coaches after all – but in England he would be a Merlin conjuring a Leviathan right in time for WC.

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  6. avatar
    December 10, 2012 at 3:18 am

    I’d like to edit the above. Rather than Jake being the Chuck Norris of international coaches – i figure him to be more like the Lone Ranger of the Intl’ coaching set.
    Why? The Lone Ranger couldn’t have done it without his trusty companion – Tonto.
    As I recall, Jake wasn’t spit till Eddie Jones came to conspire with him.

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  7. avatar
    December 10, 2012 at 9:48 am

    “I have said before I could have employed guys I knew; ‘yes’ men who just do what they are told. Instead I employed Dean and Lawrie. They certainly don’t fall within that category.

    “If something needs to be said, they aren’t afraid to say it. Sometimes even when things don’t need to be said, they will say it.”

    If only Heyneke were prepared to venture down this road.

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  8. avatar
    December 10, 2012 at 6:01 pm

    I wonder if he was given the option?

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  9. avatar
    December 10, 2012 at 6:08 pm

    Because the truth is very much that the 2007 Boks were lauded as a Jake alone project.

    I’ve even sat in media conferences with the coaching team in 2006 before the Australia rugby test where JP Pietersen debuted at 15 when Jake under heavy pressure avoided the prematch media conference and left it to Gert Smal and Alistair Coetzee to field the irate media’s question and without fail on all the controversial questions we got the answer “You should ask Jake he makes the decisions” – both Gert and Alistair made it clear they were there for the ride and not for much else. Jake didn’t even mention them too much in the autobiography. So Jake himself is bullshitting.

    Second, when PDV got his strong deputy coaches appointed who would not shut their mouths and were very vocal in their opinions, Gary Gold and Dick Muir… what happened? It all exploded in irreconcilable differences that had PDV doing what the team wanted and Muir and Gold sidelined to smile and wave for the crowd.

    So we should actually make up our f***king minds?

    Do we want a PDV head coach who cannot get along with his deputy coaches so sidelines them.

    Or do we want Jake White who pretends to include his deputies and then does exactly what he wants and sidelines them.

    My preference is for a coach to choose people he can work with… fulfilling the most important part of management, getting the right team that support him together. In that respect SARU has given HM exactly what he wanted. Four years have not passed. Let’s see what happens by 2015.

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  10. avatar
    December 10, 2012 at 7:31 pm

    There must be a balance, you need a head coach that is secure in his knowledge and aren’t threatened by assistant coahes and their opinions.

    One man alone doesn’t look outside his own sphere of expertise or experience, in my view you need synergy between the coaching staff to be really effective.

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  11. avatar
    December 11, 2012 at 6:05 am

    Reply to DavidS @ 6:08 pm:

    Nah I disagree… JW had nothing but praise for Gert Smal’s work with the forwards throughout his tenure and afterwards… roping in EJ pretty much sums up what he thought about AC’s backline coaching skills… but he also made it quite clear that on a management level AC should have got the job over PDV…

    As for him at the Brumbies… it’s been interesting following their 2013 ‘pre-season’ (yep he’s started it 3 months before everyone else again)… he continues to bring in new ‘out of the boks’ training regimes…

    Wonder how many new players (he scouted) this year that will become Wallabies thanks to him… just look at his discoveries last season…


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  12. avatar
    December 11, 2012 at 12:18 pm

    Dont know him never met him so no bad words but I do think he fluked his RWC win by not meeting the Aussies and Kiwis.

    I felt he should have had S15 experience first before having to learn sooo much more, at Bok rugby expense of course, at senior level. His games plan still exists in Bok rugby today. Possibly because he has worked with younger players he has become a bit if a talent scout.

    He is a good coach and will do well in Australia. Good luck to him and those young Boks he will poach.

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  13. avatar
    December 11, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Reply to Mug Punters Organisation of South Africa @ 12:18 pm:

    Maybe the ABs also fluked their RWC win.
    I hope they give recognition to one
    Bruce Arsehole.
    The way they played in the final the Boks
    would have fooked them.

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  14. avatar
    December 11, 2012 at 2:26 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 6:08 pm:

    “Second, when PDV got his strong deputy coaches appointed who would not shut their mouths and were very vocal in their opinions, Gary Gold and Dick Muir… what happened? It all exploded in irreconcilable differences that had PDV doing what the team wanted and Muir and Gold sidelined to smile and wave for the crowd.”

    Having strong assistant coaches is one thing, they do however need to have the same basic vision of how they want the game to be played. To all accounts Muir and Gold were diametrically opposed and could not agree.

    With the current Heyneke supporting act I am not sure these guys have any other views on rugby but the Bulls / Heyneke view? In other words, would anyone challenge Heyneke on decisions he makes? One get the feeling that this would not be the case as the assistants would have the same view from the start.

    I don’t know, this might be a good thing or a bad thing. I expect we will know after 2013.

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  15. avatar
    December 11, 2012 at 2:27 pm

    Reply to DavidS @ 6:01 pm:

    “I wonder if he was given the option?”

    Fair enough.

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  16. avatar
    December 12, 2012 at 3:49 am

    I think it would be ideal if HM rotates some new assistants in and out every year. That way his thinking and experience can permeate wider in SA rugby and he may also be influenced by new ideas coming from the assistants.

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  17. avatar
    December 12, 2012 at 4:26 am

    Reply to Boertjie @ 1:31 pm: no the AB’s did not fluke their win it was a well planned starting years back
    putting a kiwi ref as an aussie,
    kiwi reffing fixing games that affect the AB’s which we know is against IRB laws,
    making a kiwi head of refs(who has now gone to 7’s and oh 7’s has become an Olympic sport)
    allowing Mccaw to insult the game by his antics and kneeing the french flyhalf game breaker out of the game

    Yep Boet that was a well planned fix.

    The French should have won, and we would have klapped them in the semi’s. I was very impressed with the BOks against the Samoan disgraceful assualt. The composure they showed convinced me we were good enough to win it.

    I will never watch a RWC again, terrible shame like Armstrong(some here still think he is innocent like the RWC was not fixed).

    Like my old man said: Booi the RWC’s are given and not won!!!

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