Brumbies wing Clyde Rathbone says he struggled to understand why Jake White decided to resign as head coach.

In his column on The Roar website, Rathbone shared his views when he heard of White’s decision to leave the Brumbies, despite having two years left on his contract.

Rathbone first talks about his relationship with White, which dates back to their time together with the Baby Boks in 2002, and why he rates White so highly as a coach.

However, he then turns his attention to White’s weaknesses, questioning his reasons for quitting.

“I’ve come to know Jake as a highly strung, emotional and complex individual who can get bogged down and consumed by irrelevant issues and peripheral details,” Rathbone wrote.

“For all Jake’s success, he appears unsatisfied, always chasing the next opportunity. And so it was when he applied for the Wallaby coaching position.

“I know how disappointed Jake was at missing out on the Wallabies Job. I know he felt as though the politics that marred his time with the Springboks and which he believed he had escaped in Australia had burnt him once more.

“With that said, failure to secure the Wallabies job is not an acceptable reason to resign from the Brumbies. It’s not even close to being an acceptable reason.

“If Jake made his decision for family reasons, it’s an entirely different matter. No reasonable person would stand in the way of somebody with a desire to be closer to loved ones.

“I hope that this is the sole reason for Jake’s decision. But if pining for home and family is Jake’s rationale for reallocation, why apply for the Wallaby coaching job?

“It’s all rather perplexing,” continued Rathbone.

Australian Rugby Union chief executive Bill Pulver stands by the decision to overlook Jake White as the next Wallabies coach and says White’s South African heritage did not influence the move to appoint Ewen McKenzie.


  1. The Brumbies was his foot in the door
    to get Aus job
    When the job left
    He pulled his foot out

  2. All this stuff about Jake resigning at the the Brumbies where he had a great S15 season because he didn’t get the Wallabies coaching job just does not gel. It smacks of a kid throwing his toys because he doesn’t get his way and anyone who has read his book in Black and White would know Jake is not that kind of guy. He like everybody else knew there was no ways the Aussies were going to appoint a foreigner to replace kiwi Robbie Deans. Ask Mickie Arthur how xenophobic the Aussies can be about foreign coaches when their sides aren’t winning.

    What does come through in his book is his devotion to his 2 sons and his regrets that he put so much into rugby that his family life suffered at times. Maybe he has found it too hard to be away from them and there may be some truth in the Sydney Morning Herald report that he is angling for a Director of rugby job at Stellenbosch University? This would keep in Cape Town where his sons are. Who can blame him for wanting that but a damn pity about the Brumbies job.
    He is, as Clyde points out, a complex character but a great manager of men and a great rugby coach and it was he who we are lead to believe that brought Clyde back from a dark place.

  3. Glass houses Rattles glass houses!

    JW was the sole reason for your comeback to the game… the sole reason…

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