Springboks

Matfield on scuffle with White

2011-11-13 17:32
Victor Matfield (File)
Cape Town - Retired Springbok lock Victor Matfield reveals in his autobiography that his relationship with former Bok coach Jake White was often one of conflict.

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The Rapport newspaper reports how Matfield describes an incident which occurred at a golf tournament in Fancourt shortly after the Boks won the 2007 World Cup. Matfield said White lost his cool when he told him he viewed then-Bulls coach Heyneke Meyer as a better coach.

"Jake erupted. He jumped over the table and grabbed me by the collar," Matfield said in his newly released book, Victor: My Journey, which will be available to the public from Monday.

"How could I say such a thing a few weeks after he had won the World Cup? He (White) was livid. 'You and Fourie (du Preez) think you can intimidate everyone, but I won't allow it,' " said White.

Matfield reveals how they were chatting about who the new Bok coach should be. White backed Allister Coetzee, his assistant at the Boks for four years, but Matfield disagreed. He felt that Coetzee would do a "good job", but Meyer was his preferred choice.

White then apparently lost his cool when when Matfield said: "Jake, you had success with the Boks. I have been coached by both of you and Heyneke is the best coached I have played under."

The veteran lock said White apologised to him the next day and also admits that he should have chosen his words better. "After that we met a few times and at least greeted each other. But I realised we would never be good friends."

Matfield also reveals that White was unhappy with the length of his hair and his attitude.

"It is clear to me that you always position yourself at the 'right spot' when photographs are taken and that your image is important to you," White told Matfield in a personal meeting shortly after he became Bok coach in 2004.

White wanted him to cut his hair, but Matfield would have none of it and further wrote there would be a lot of "bumps and bruises" over the next four years.

Matfield also later admitted White had a point about his arrogance, and he only realised it when his provincial mentor, Meyer, agreed with the Bok coach in a meeting between the three of them. "Jake's view of you is not entirely untrue," said Meyer after White ordered a meeting between them in 2004.


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