Currie Cup

Jake denies nepotism claims

2014-09-30 12:25
Jake White (Gallo)
Cape Town - Did Jake White really quit his role as Sharks Director of Rugby or was he shifted out?

READ: Maties job on White's radar?

That is the big question on the minds of many a rugby pundit following Monday's shock announcement that White had parted ways with the Sharks after only a season in charge.

In their official statement on the matter, the Sharks said "the time is right for Jake to free himself up for any international coaching and consulting opportunities ahead of the (World Cup) tournament in England."

Sharks CEO John Smit said White had always stated that his international ambitions came first when he made the switch to the Sharks in October last year having missed out on the opportunity to coach Australia.

"Jake and I have known each other a long time and were very frank in our discussions regarding this Sharks opportunity back in 2013," said Smit, who captained South Africa's World Cup-winning side in 2007.

"Jake was excited to implement change as well as be involved with South Africa's most talented squad but from the outset stated his ambition to be on the international stage again and I was all too happy to have him for however long we could.

"What he has achieved for us in such a short time is incredible and our staff and players have learned a huge amount."

However, it is believed that White had become unpopular among Sharks management and players and he may have been forced out.

According to Afrikaans daily newspaper, Volksblad, there was dissatisfaction because White wanted to fast-track his son, Wesley, as a substitute for the Sharks Under-21 side, despite the player still being Under-19.

Because 18-year-old Wesley is quite young for Under-21 selection, he was subjected to specific testing prescribed by the South African Rugby Union. The tests are aimed to prevent players who are too young for a specific team from getting serious injuries. The newspaper reported that Wesley had failed the tests.

In an SMS to Volksblad, White strongly denied that there was any sort of nepotism involved him trying to favour his son.

Meanwhile, Tuesday's Cape Times also states that White was forced to leave the Sharks. It is believed that there has been growing discord between White and his backroom staff, as well as with the players.

While White may not technically have been "fired" by the board of the Sharks, a stage had apparently been reached where White no longer headed a harmonious environment.

Read more on:    sharks  |  currie cup  |  jake white  |  durban  |  rugby

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