Sharks to 'dominate with Jake'
Jake White (Gallo Images)
Cape Town - Former Springbok and Blue Bulls hooker Gary Botha believes the Sharks - with Jake White as coach - will be the top team in South Africa over the next few years.
The Sharks won the Currie Cup when they beat Western Province 33-19 at Newlands over the weekend. It was sweet revenge for the men from Durban after they unexpectedly lost to the Cape side in the 2012 final in Durban.
They also did it with a new coaching staff in Brendan Venter (Director of Rugby), Brad Macleod-Henderson (forwards coach) and Sean Everitt (backline coach).
However, Venter's tenure in Durban has come to an end, with White taking over his role from next month. It remains to be seen if White will utilise Macleod-Henderson and Everitt as his assistants.
White has a track-record for taking teams from precarious positions and turning them into world-class outfits, as was evident during his time with the Springboks and Brumbies.
Botha was part of White's victorious Bok World Cup winning squad in 2007 and also won the Junior World Cup with White as coach in 2002.
And he expects his former mentor to keep the Sharks at the top of the local rugby pile.
"I believe Jake will take the Sharks to unparalleled heights. Questions are asked if he will be just as successful inheriting a team at the peak of its powers instead of one that is struggling. But I believe Jake is such a good coach that he will make a success of any team, no matter what level they're at," Botha told the Beeld website
"Jake will only make minor changes at the Sharks and make sure he brings in the right people to assist him.
"He and Smittie (John Smit - Sharks CEO) will form an outstanding partnership. With their reputations they'll be able to lure some big names to Durban to play there rugby there in the next few years," continued Botha.
The 32-year-old Botha, who played 12 Tests for the Boks, currently plies his trade at French club, Toulouse.