Canberra - Jake White
has expressed concern about the Springbok coaching staffs’ management of
players after their Tri-Nations loss to the Wallabies in Durban.
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Writing on his RugbyXV website, White said he had misgivings about the level of fitness of
“Their match fitness could've been excused in not playing in
a while - which was the coach's choice - but their general fitness also isn't
White, who was often criticised during his tenure for
picking players on the basis of size and athleticism, said that fitness was
vital to the Boks’ Rugby World Cup cause.
“The fittest teams have historically won the World Cup, and
that's not a good omen for these Boks. You just have to look at footage of
these players in 2007 and compare that to now. You can just look at the body
types of the players to notice the difference,”
White also criticised the Bok management’s use of the
“The substitutions were poor. It was unfair to move John
Smit to tighthead late in the game.”
“With Gurthro Steenkamp on the bench and Jannie du Plessis's
fitness not being backed, it was always the plan to move Smit there,” White
“It was surprising the Boks didn't realise beforehand what
an impact that would have, as Smit has previously struggled against Australian
scrums,” White noted.
White said that the Bok management were in denial about
the extent of their team's shortcomings.
“Peter de Villiers said we won the game everywhere but on
the scoreboard, and no wonder he's still optimistic and 90% sure we'll win the
World Cup,” White observed.
White’s personal outlook was far less optimistic.
“It's the first time in 40 years the Boks have lost back to
back home Tests against Australia, and they could for the first time lose all
four Tri-Nations Tests. They now play a weakened New Zealand side without their
two best players in Richie McCaw and Dan Carter, and there's lots of pressure
on the Boks,” White said.