Jake's Test ambitions clear

    2014-05-08 13:00

    Melbourne - World Cup-winning coach Jake White still has hopes of coaching at the highest level again despite his disappointment at missing out on the Wallabies job last year.

    White, who guided South Africa to the 2007 World Cup, thought himself a shoo-in to take over from New Zealander Robbie Deans as Australia coach last year but missed out to Ewen McKenzie.

    Disillusioned, the South African walked out of his job as coach of the Canberra-based Brumbies in Super Rugby last year, halfway through his four-year contract to head home to mentor the Sharks.

    "I've thought about it long and hard. I would love the Wallabies job," White told reporters in Canberra where the competition-leading Sharks will take on the second-placed Brumbies on Saturday.

    "I've said it many times to many journalists while I was here: I'd love to coach internationally again and the mere fact that it wasn't an opportunity and another opportunity presented itself - rightly or wrongly, selfishly, whichever way you look at it - I just decided it was time for me to be back closer to my family, my network, based on the fact that the landscape had significantly changed.

    "I would like to coach internationally again and I wasn't aware that if I left I could still never coach Australia," the 51-year-old added.

    "I mean, I'm a young guy and there's a lot more international rugby and anyone who has coached at that level always looks for that opportunity."

    White blamed a preference for home-grown coaches for his snubbing, pointing to fellow South African Mickey Arthur's sacking as coach of the Australian cricket team last year.

    Former Australia Test batsman Darren Lehmann took over from Arthur.

    "I'm the first to admit when I arrived here under John O'Neill as the incumbent (Australian Rugby Union) CEO the landscape was different," he said.

    "There were opportunities in Australia for foreign coaches to ply their trade and coach internationally - Mickey Arthur at cricket, Robbie Deans at rugby.

    "That landscape changed in the two years that I was here - no-one's fault - and that means that you've got to reboot and rethink about where you want to be as a coach."

    If the Australia job came up again, White said he wouldn't send in his "CV".

    "I'd have to get tapped on the shoulder this time," he said.

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