Jake: Boks can beat Lions

2009-04-09 12:45

Johannesburg - South Africa have the players to overcome any challenge the British and Irish Lions throw at them during their three-Test tour, former World Cup-winning Springbok coach Jake White said.

"I'm not meaning to sound arrogant and this is not all about me saying the Lions have got no chance, but whatever they throw at the Springboks, I believe they can pick the players to counter that and there is no reason the Springboks can't win the series," White said.

"If the Lions go for a massive pack and very physical forwards, there's no reason South Africa can't pick bigger and more physical guys.

"We have players like Bakkies Botha, Victor Matfield, Gurthro Steenkamp and Danie Rossouw to stop them.

"If they go for speed and try to run us off our feet on the highveld, do they have anyone better than Pierre Spies, Ryan Kankowski or Schalk Burger?" added White, who coached South Africa from 2004-2007 and guided them to World Cup victory in 2007 in France.

South Africa lost the last series against the Lions in 1997 2-1. A Jeremy Guscott drop goal at the death gave the Lions an 18-15 victory in the second test at Durban for a decisive 2-0 series lead.

White said there were two pitfalls South Africa needed to avoid if they were to avenge the defeat.

"In 1997, the Springboks outscored the Lions nine tries to three but lost the series because they didn't have a goalkicker.

"In 1974 (won 3-0 by the Lions), the selectors tried to swap the players around -- we used 33 in the four tests. So this time there's got to be consistency in selection," White said.

White introduced most of the players used by South Africa coach Peter De Villiers last year to international rugby.

"Obviously I'm biased about those players I rated highly, but South Africa does have a very special group of players at the moment," he said.

"Peter de Villiers has some options in terms of selection. The first test in Durban (June 20) will be a most important clash because it will set the benchmark for the series.

"He could choose a lot of players from a top-class Sharks side because they'd have home ground advantage, but the negative is that they might have come straight off a gruelling Super 14 final.

"If winning means choosing two or three overseas-based players, then you do that. You'd be crazy if you don't and they'd have more time to prepare, plus they would understand the opposition they're coming up against," added White, who was in Johannesburg, to launch his academy for schoolboy rugby coaches.

The second Test will be played in Pretoria on June 27 and the third in Johannesburg on July 4.


  • Lourens - 2009-04-09 13:51

    Jake we miss u soooo much,Plz come back!!!! But we know that wont happen,our rugbyjokers(bosses) are so jealous of ur sucsess!!!!! U picked player who played well and that performed,not players the goverment wants. U are our best coach we ever had with Mr Christy

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-09 14:08


  • PE Sharky - 2009-04-09 14:17

    PLEASE Diff, listen to someone that knows about rugby and selection! And who is not scared to stand up for the team he believes in!!

  • Roelof - 2009-04-09 14:30

    Jake, on behalf of all the Auto & General Lions and Xerox Lions supporters, I am begging you to come and fix what "Laffie" has done to our team. Please help us!!!

  • Steve Randal - 2009-04-09 14:37

    Still a wise man. Thank you so much for the last world cup Jake. Made me proud to be a South African. Would not have done it without you. Read your book, brilliant!!

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-09 14:46

    Yes Jake, thank you for stating the obvious. We all know we have the players. 1 problem.................picking those players. My team for the lions test matches 15. Terblanche 14. Ndungane 13. Fourie 12. Olivier 11. JP Peterson 10. Butch 9. Rory K 8 Spies 7 Smith 6 Burger 5 Muller 4 Bakkies 3 Jannie 2 Smitty 1 Guthro 16. Bismarck 17 Beast 18 Victor 19 Watson 20 Pienaar 21 Fourie Du P 22 JDV

  • Louis - 2009-04-09 14:47

    Jake, you really transformed SA rugby. I will always be gratefull. It's a pity the monkeys in SA Rugby let you go.

  • V Paulse - 2009-04-09 15:38

    My bra Jake, is da nix tips vir die Stormers nie. My span sukkel n moerse hou in die Super14. Miskien kan jy n acadamy da in die WP ook stig...dit sal ook help. My span is darem treurig, ek smaak skree vir die Bulls ma lyk my hulle sukkel netso....nou weet ek nie meer nie. Lyk my al option is om te skree vir my ou hometown SWD - die arende vlieg hoog daar onder

  • Chris du Plessis - 2009-04-09 16:11

    Ons het van die beste spelers in die wereld en ons gaan die Leeus verniel. Ons moet net die poletiek uit ons sport hou en die anc moet eerder die Baffana span help en los os RUGBY uit

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-09 17:18

    First test !5 Stefan Terreblanche,14 Conrad Jantjies,13,Adrian Jacobs 12, Jean De Villiers,11 Jp Pietersen,10 Butch James,9 Fourie Du Preetz 8.Pierre Spies,7 Juan Smith,6,Schalk Burger,5.victor Matfield,4,Bakkies Botha 3,Cj van der linde 2.john Smit (C) 1.Beast 16.Francois Steyn 17.Jacque Fourie 18,Ruan Pienaar 19,Ryan kankowski 20.Johan muller 21.Brian Mutjie 22.bismark du plessis

  • Anonymous User - 2009-04-19 19:35

    once again we ask the men who run saru to somehow put jake the man back in the fold !! as for the team vs lions 15.terblanche 14.jpp 13 FOURIEi 12 .JDV(currently injured) 11 Habana 10 ruan .9 FDp.8.spies.7 juan .6 schala .5matfield 4.bakkies. 3.smit.2.bismarck.beast 16.butch.17 kocky.18.brussow.19.bekker.20.kanko.21.steyn.22ADI

  • pages:
  • 1