Smit said no to Jake White
Cape Town - New Sharks CEO John Smit turned down Brumbies coach Jake White
in favour of Brendan Venter to take over the coaching reins at the Durban side.
According to a report on the Beeld website
, White and former England coach Clive Woodward were interested in the coaching position. Both White and Woodward have World Cup winners medals as coaches, White with the Springboks in 2007 and Woodward with England in 2003.
Smit instead opted to appoint Venter
as Director of Rugby. Smit and Venter worked together during the former Bok skipper's stint at English club, Saracens.
"I was very excited about what I saw from Brendan at Saracens," said Smit.
Smit also revealed that the relationship between him and outgoing Sharks coach John Plumtree is tense. Plumtree will lead the side until the completion of this year's Super Rugby competition.
"I had to break the news to him next to the field like a teacher. I still view Plum as a very good coach, but I feel sometimes as head coach you fall behind regarding your direct involvement. He also maybe didn't receive the necessary support from the leadership at the very top.
"I also felt it was needed for the players to experience something different. We need something new in the manner in which we play, the way we manage our players and a uniform playing style with all our teams.
"We need a rugby renewal.
Smit said he still hopes he and Plumtree can talk things out. "It will be bad if we walk past each other in Umhlanga Rocks in 10 years' time and we can't even look each other in the eye and greet one another."