Rugby

White hints at England job

2011-11-27 13:30
Jake White (File)

London - Jake White, who coached South Africa to 2007 World Cup success, dropped a hint on Sunday that he would welcome an approach to succeed Martin Johnson as England coach.

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The Rugby Football Union are searching for a successor to Johnson, who stepped down 11 days ago in response to England's dismal 2011 World Cup campaign in New Zealand.

White is one of the leading candidates to replace Johnson and the 48-year-old South African has left little doubt over his interest in the position.

"You miss the highest level of competition," White told BBC Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

"During the World Cup there were times when I thought it would be wonderful to be back on this stage.

"I'm sure that if an opportunity came about, it's something I'd like to do again.

"I don't know how I'd react if I was called by the RFU, one never knows until you are in that situation.

"All coaches want to test themselves against the best and when you've won one World Cup, you'd like to win a second.

"It would be a fantastic achievement to become the first coach to win two World Cups.

"I'm young enough and there's a long time ahead in my career. I'd love to get another chance of testing myself at the World Cup.

"To win it twice would be a real dream come true."

White would be happy to work alongside Clive Woodward, the mastermind of England's 2003 World Cup triumph who has been linked with a return to Twickenham in a director of elite rugby role.

"I've chatted to Clive about coaching together," he said.

"He's a very proud man who's been through the highs and lows with England and took them to the World Cup.

"I say this not because Clive is my friend, but it's amazing how a guy like him hasn't stayed in rugby when he's achieved the ultimate in winning the World Cup with England."

White believes "sleeping giants" England need someone with a proven track record of success to steer them out of the doldrums.

"They have to get a winner, someone who's been there and done it, someone who understands what it takes to win something special," he said.

"They must get back to where they were when they were the dominant force in rugby.

"They do that by getting someone who the players respect for that he's been there, done it.

"England are a sleeping giant. Whoever gets that job right can have a very successful time with a very powerful rugby nation."

One obstacle to White's arrival at Twickenham is the four-year contract he recently signed with Australian Super Rugby side the Brumbies - the first coaching position he has filled since 2007.

"I'm very happy at the Brumbies. I've committed myself to them and in the long run it will make me a better rugby coach," he said.

"My Brumbies bosses have been very good to me and want me to take the team to another level.

"They have backed me and it's only right that I would back them in times when they might think I'd let them down."

Read more on:    international rugby  |  rfu  |  jake white
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