Origin and style against White

2013-07-11 07:46
Jake White (AFP)
Sydney - ARU boss Bill Pulver said Jake White's perceived defensive style and the preference for an Australian at the helm were factors in the Brumbies coach being overlooked for the Wallabies position.

According to the website, Pulver met Brumbies players in Canberra on Wednesday, but he did not to talk to White, just a day after announcing Ewen McKenzie had been appointed the Wallabies successor to Robbie Deans. It's understood the pair have not yet had the chance to speak about why McKenzie was preferred over the 2007 World-Cup winning South African coach.

Pulver, however, said McKenzie had impressed the selection panel with his vision to ''coach the Australian way'', a reference to playing attractive and attacking football. The statistics don't tell the same story.

The Brumbies have beaten McKenzie's Reds in the try-scoring tally for the past two Super Rugby seasons, including a huge 11-try gap between the teams this year.

''Both were world-class options, Jake's case was very compelling … he has an outstanding coaching record,'' Pulver said. ''I just think there has probably been a little bit more creativity inside Ewen's programs. He's very vocal in saying 'winning is not enough'. You've got to win in a way that excites and captures the hearts and minds of the rugby community. I agree (with McKenzie). At this point in time I'd say Ewen (compared with White) has the strongest point in that particular area … One of the things Ewen came out strongly on was the ability to coach the Australian way.''

Pulver denied the ARU had only been interested in appointing an Australian in the top job after New Zealander Robbie Deans - the Wallabies' first foreign coach - was axed with six months left on his contract.

Pulver said the preference was to ''find the best coach'', adding: ''But when you've got two coaches of such a similar standard, there is clearly some advantage in being Australian.''

The ARU sounded out White in February before the start of the season about his interest in being the next Wallabies coach.

The Brumbies coach was invited to a secret job interview in Melbourne two weeks ago.

Read more on:    aru  |  wallabies  |  jake white  |  rugby

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