Short Tongan stint for Jake

2014-10-16 07:35
Jake White (Gallo Images)
Wellington - Tonga’s high performance director Peter Harding says its rugby union will try to learn as much as possible from Jake White during his short stint with the team.

READ: Eddie Jones backs Jake White for Wallaby job

White will act as technical adviser to Tonga during the Pacific side's northern hemisphere tour in November, a team official confirmed on Thursday.

White, who guided South Africa to the 2007 Rugby World Cup, quit as coach of the Sharks in a surprise move last month after taking the Durban-based franchise to the Super Rugby semi-finals.

Harding said Tonga’s rugby union decided to "have a lash" and ask White to join the tour - which includes matches against Georgia, Scotland and the USA - after hearing the 51-year-old was available.

"It'll be just a month where we'll try to suck him dry of information, talk to him about World Cup preparation and get him to assist the coaches in any way he can while he's there," Harding told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

He dismissed speculation that White - who has often said his ultimate goal is to mentor another team at a World Cup - could take over from Tonga coach Mana Otai for next year's tournament in England.

"It'll just be the northern hemisphere tour at the moment," said Harding. "Someone of Jake's standing and qualifications will get all sorts of offers next year."

Harding said White had enormous respect for Tongan rugby after the islanders gave his Springboks an almighty scare in the group stages of the 2007 World Cup, with the South Africans holding on to win 30-25 before advancing to take the title.

Read more on:    jake white  |  rugby

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