Smit said no to Jake White

2013-06-25 09:12

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."


  • Kevin Robarts - 2013-06-25 09:19

    Ahhh Smit. You saw Brendan Venter do some good stuff at Saracens. Bet it wasn't as big a turn around as the world cup winning Boks or the Brumbies who will most likely make this years super rugby final coming from nowhere two years ago. Am in disbelief.

      ChrisG29 - 2013-06-25 09:23

      My initial reaction was also complete shock, but then I had to wonder what sort of price Jake was asking? The Aussie Dollar is over R10, I could be wrong, but I don't think the Sharks could have matched what he was offered at the Brumbies.

      Dhirshan Gobind - 2013-06-25 09:26

      Shouldv hired the special 1 - Jose Mourinho, lol

      procold2 - 2013-06-25 09:42

      i agree with chris here not so much as turned him down but more we cant afford him but sa rugby should try and get jake back to sa somehow every side he touches turns to gold.

      Rabble Rouser - 2013-06-25 09:42

      Jake White has turned the Brumbies around in less than two seasons. Now that says something. Perhaps he is still tied up in his contract. I can't see the Brumbies letting him go in a hurry. It would be in their best interests to keep him as long as possible.

      grantcallaway - 2013-06-25 10:24

      @Chris - those were my thoughts too - but then we are making assumptions about pay. It would be nice if the reporter factored in some of this information...

      Pascal van Woezik - 2013-06-25 13:00

      @ procold2, maybe Jake White can come to the Stormers!

      Louis Ferreira - 2013-06-25 13:49

      Smit is talking crap mate ....Jake will probably take over from Deans in the future.

      goyougoodthing - 2013-06-25 15:40

      Jake would have done wonders but Smit's EGO would always get in the way. It's about payback to Plum for dropping him for a better player. I just wish Smit would stop pretending he won a CCup under Plumtree. They did win, he was a substitute. but in game time for the season... hardly any at all. If he's claiming that then it's a little sad.

      brendon.greeff - 2013-06-25 19:03

      Jake White wants the Wallaby job, make no mistake. He wants test rugby back in his life and considering what he has done with the Brumbies, as well as the Boks, he is currently front runner with Ewen McKenzie for the job. He's a frikkin hero in Australia at the moment and his continued PR spin will be interesting to follow. Question is, will the ARU hire another foreigner?

      Bullet Proof - 2013-06-25 19:08

      Jake will be the next Wallabies coach and when they play the boks, they will hit the boks for six..... after what the idiots at SARFU did to jakes after winning the 2007 world cup, it was a total disgrace, disgusting, political and racist. Jake I hope you knock the boks for six, Origan Hoskind and the racist SARFU anc apeasers taek that and suck on it. Watch this space.

      Trav Griffie - 2013-06-26 08:50

      @goyougoodthing...I am not sure what the chip on your shoulder against Smit is about, but any player in any tournament who plays any time at all is eligible for a medal. Why is Smit any different? There is no doubt that having White on board would be amazing, but I also have no doubt that the numbers would be out of reach. I don't believe that Smit has an axe to grind with Plum...remember that he has called him the best coach has ever worked with. Is it not possible that he is speaking the truth and simply saw something in the way the Venter coached that he, as an ex-player, thought would bring value to a Sharks environment that he is looking to rebuild? I am not sure that there is a terrorist under every bush.

      Stephanie Sutherland - 2013-06-26 08:52

      Jake White has a 4 year contract with the Brumbies franchise, and has turned down England and quite a few international opportunities to stick with the Brumbies. He said he will finish his contract, and am thinking that he actually might oust Dingo Deans as national team coach in the future. Maybe even lead Australia to the next world cup, now wouldn't that be a ripper !!!

  • Estiaan Pienaar - 2013-06-25 09:22

    Ek wonder hoe kyk jy vir Bismarck in die oe..

      Chez Kri - 2013-06-25 09:58

      About that same way as Adraain Strauss does. Why are some people so fixated on Bismarck? Yes he is good but do some reading and you'll see that Smit did a whole lot more than just play #2. Now Bismarck has to fight past the Cheetahs captain and as much as I like Bismarck, Strauss is playing a better #2 right now.

      grantcallaway - 2013-06-25 10:26

      I like Strauss, and Bismark has been out for a while, so I agree that for now, Strauss should be first choice. But when they are both fully fit, Bismark is streets ahead (and probably tops the world).

      Dene-Paul Elliott - 2013-06-25 11:31

      I agree that Strauss as an all round package offers so much more than Bismark. For one he is approachable and not scowling all the time like a bulldog who has had his bone stolen. I ran past Bismark at the CT waterfront last year and he was still chommelling and scowling at everyone while his girlfriend was having a chat to her buddies. Bismark is OK but Strauss has turned out to be an excellent investment and backup national team leader something which Bismark is definitely not.

      Bennie Stander - 2013-06-25 16:15

      Bismarck en Adriaan is albei van Grey Kollege en het geleer dat kompetisie altyd goed is om die beste uit mekaar te haal.

  • Jco van Rooyen - 2013-06-25 09:23

    Ek dog almal dink so baie van Jake White! John hy het jou gecoach en jou kaptein gehou in 2007. Wat nou? Is dit dalk waar dat Jake maar met Heyneke se kallers geploeg het en so die wereld beker gewen het. Die Bulle het mos alles gewen in 2007 of nie! Ek vra maar net 'n reguit vraag of twee! Sal graag wil hoor wat ander se! Daar was so baie bespiegelinge dat die Bokke in 2007 die Bulle se patroon gespeel het.

      BlouMasjien BlouBloed - 2013-06-25 09:30

      Amen, Brother! Hit the nail on the head.

      Dan Jackiels - 2013-06-25 10:53

      Did Heyneke coach the Brumbies as well?

      Izzi Max - 2013-06-25 11:03

      Don't shoot down the Great White, you don't know why he was turned down folks. pay some respect.

      Trav Griffie - 2013-06-26 08:54

      Izzi, wouldn't that be great if people on this site showed respect. It is a rare commodity around here mate!

      Stephanie Sutherland - 2013-06-26 08:58

      He probably turned them down, they can't afford him. The Aussie dollar is 9.321 for R1 need I say more. No way can the Sharks afford White, they can't compete with international clubs dollar for dollar. They are just trying to save face.

  • Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-06-25 09:26

    Ja well, wat kan mens se, overrated speler, overated CEO, swaar dae vir die sharks le voor

      Dinos Kaparos - 2013-06-25 09:42

      Ok Brutus

      Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-06-25 10:07

      Swaar dae ou gaydriana, swaar dae

      Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-06-25 10:52

      Ek wet hulle het n overated CEO met aap supporters

      Peter Boettger - 2013-06-26 05:29

      It is a pity that grown- ups can act like children I thought it was only the ANC privilege

  • Gary Doyle - 2013-06-25 09:30

    Jake's more tried and tested at various levels and knows the Sharks culture having worked there before but I guess I understand Smit wanting a fresh approach from a guy like Brendan. Hope they move forward from here.

  • Israel Levi - 2013-06-25 09:30

    Jake is a way better coach than venter

  • Leon Young - 2013-06-25 09:31

    john make sure the sharks win finals please

  • Israel Levi - 2013-06-25 09:31

    Or maybe smit is intimidated by a world cup winning coach. Im a sharks fan but dont agree with what smit is doing at the sharks.

      grantcallaway - 2013-06-25 10:28

      If White (who we know nothing of salary expectation or duration of availability) had not come into the picture, what exactly do you not agree with?

      goyougoodthing - 2013-06-25 15:54

      Do you really need an answer? Even after this episode? Well if you wait Grant, I am sure it will become even more evident why.

  • Riaan Maree - 2013-06-25 09:32

    John obviously has formulated a certain strategy and is picking his team according to that plan. Only the history books will tell us one day if it was a success or a failure, but I for one is willing to give him and his choices a gap.

  • Vuurwarm Tannie - 2013-06-25 09:39

    Die Baas het gepraat!

  • David Scott Duncan - 2013-06-25 09:40

    Beeld...very 'reliable' source. I'll wait for the truth to come out

  • Slp Mulligan - 2013-06-25 09:45

    Maybe Smit knows Prof White better than most? He was his 'partner' for 4 years. Look at Smit and Matfield's biographies and it gives the impression that they are not as slavish in their praise of him as the public. Without the World Cup his record was not awe inspiring; but he was and still is a very good coach.

      Chez Kri - 2013-06-25 09:56

      Exactly. I have got the impression that White is not a well liked man.

      Andre de Leeuw - 2013-06-25 10:08

      Agreed! His record was not really that impressive without Eddie jones's help..

      grantcallaway - 2013-06-25 10:34

      What's better? The Proteas record, where we win most of our games, but cant win a knock-out tournament, or the Springbok record that loses plenty games trying to build a team (and gameplan) that wins world cups? Also - you nana's look at White's statistics blindly. You completely disregard the UTTER MESS of a Springbok squad that he inherited...which he then turned into a side that were close on unbeatable. If Jose Mourinho took over the coaching job at Sunderland, and Raffa Benitez took over at Man U, who do you think would have better results over a 4 year duration? You have to take the situation into account when looking at stats peeps!

      Slp Mulligan - 2013-06-25 10:46

      @grant...Your reference to the Proteas is absurd.The Rugby the World Cup is the holy grail, as there are no longer proper test series and tours. In cricket the holy grail is test cricket, and the tours that determine the number one ranking. Our current standing as the top test team is worth any number of irrelevant knockout trophies. Ask the the All Blacks. Their long awaited 2nd cup in 2011 meant more than all the 1st rankings since their 1st World Cup.

  • Darryl Pentz - 2013-06-25 09:45

    This does *not* bode well for the Sharks. And always this talk of new this and new that. The Sharks style of play was good - what we needed was our main players not being mostly injured the entire season. It feels just a little like John is on a power crusade here under the guise of bringing in something 'new'. How you opt for Venter over White, I have no idea. Where else is a World Cup winning coach held in such low regard after the accomplishment. It makes no sense.

  • Jakes Greyling - 2013-06-25 09:54

    Ag nee Smittie what's this tjommie tjommie stories we hear? Eish hope it pays off. Jake was also good to you... What about Pieter Div jaaaaaaa

  • Joe Muhr - 2013-06-25 09:56

    Ooooh, this must piss Keegan Daniel off no end!

      Smurwe - 2013-06-25 10:29

      Ha ha big time for sure. :-)

  • Andre de Leeuw - 2013-06-25 09:57

    Should of hired Eddie jones! Brilliant rugby brain! Won the 07 World Cup . Lets not forget Juan smiths brilliance either during the 07 campaign!

  • Nicholas Els - 2013-06-25 09:58

    I think this article is bull, Jake committed to Brumbies, he said so many times, his next job will be with Wallabies or some other top test team.

      David Scott Duncan - 2013-06-25 10:02

      Exactly. No way White was an option. It's just the Beeld stirring the pot on a slow news day...again

      Louis Ferreira - 2013-06-25 13:56

      Thanks Nicholas you are talking sense not like these stupid remarks on this blog.

  • Graham Toddy Edwards - 2013-06-25 10:04

    There's a difference between JW and CW 'expressing an interest' and them actually formally applying for the job. Which as it happens they did not do.

  • Pi Poggenpoel - 2013-06-25 10:04

    When you read some of the seriousness of the comments, you would think it is a matter of national importance who he appointed. Seriously, rugby is a game (a sport). It doesn't really matter in the bigger scheme of things.

  • Peter L Morris - 2013-06-25 10:22

    No Pi it is a business if you don't do your job you fired

  • Smurwe - 2013-06-25 10:23

    In my opinion. Wise decision. Jake is too tempramental at times. His ego muddles his judgement. Brendan is clinical. I would have gone for Brendan as well.

  • Vyas A. Juggernath - 2013-06-25 10:45

    Smit is looking forward but with blinkers. He hasn't taken office and yet has already made the wrong decisions. Jake white is a hero in the rugby world. Anyone will gladly take him. If Venter fails, will smit do the same to him as he did to a successful coach as plumtree?

      Brutus Mcgreggor - 2013-06-25 10:55

      Dikgat smit is to arrogant to say enough is enough, I am not making a contribution anymore, he did it when he was huffing and puffing on the field, and he will do it in the boardroom

  • Bardof Blairgowrie - 2013-06-25 10:46

    This story is GREAT NEWS for me as a Bull's supporter. The absolute LAST thing we need is a rugby genius like Jake White coaching the snaaks, with their zero trophies.

      Dan Jackiels - 2013-06-25 11:02

      This is one of the things that ticks me off about SOME Bulls supporters. They can't just support their own team they must always have something bad to say about other teams.

      Dan Jackiels - 2013-06-25 11:30

      Thanks Jaycee for throwing my whole argument out the window :) It's far more prevalent among Bulls supporters though.

      Francois Strydom - 2013-06-25 12:34

      Ag ou JC. Al wat Bardof wil demonstreer is dat slegs Jake White die Sharks as chokers kan verander na 'n span wat die groot oomblikke kan wen. Loftus en die Bulle is maar nog net te groot vir die Snaakses om by uit te kom en begeer soos 'n skool seuntjie wat een dag een van sy helde se voetspore vol te staan, om ook soos die Bulle bekers te kan wen!!

  • Dehan Vermaakt - 2013-06-25 11:41

    I can't believe it jake white took the springboks to the top and he is busy doing the same with the brumbies and smit doesn't even consider him, what an idiot

  • Justin Hemming - 2013-06-25 11:54

    John, as sharks CEO you should be keeping this stuff under wraps. You're no longer the bok captain, who needs to be in the media all the time. This has not been a good time for the sharks, and whilst a steady hand is needed, quite composed leadership is also required - not splurting out to the fickle media.

  • Nico Eksteen - 2013-06-25 11:58

    Strange, I thought White said that he will only coach a national side next.

  • Viva LeBok - 2013-06-25 12:14

    I would have gone with Jake White. He has proved himself to be great coach. But then Smit obviously knows something we don't. I do like that JS states that we need a uniform playing style with all our teams. This is something HM has been working on the past 1 year.

  • Trevor Sammons - 2013-06-25 12:32

    Dumb move.

  • Pierre Le Roux - 2013-06-25 12:32

    Venter is brilliant.Jake has had his ups and downs.let's not forget 49-0 loss to Oz and terrible record against the All Black(30 percent win ratio) and ofcourse the easiest road to a world cup trophy playing Samoa in quarters Argies in Semis and an old England team in Finals.He is doing great at Brumbies but also let's not forget as a franchise they are no super rugby mugs and next to Crusaders and Bulls have the best Super rugby pedigree.Smitty has been brave but I like that!

  • Roy Wadhams - 2013-06-25 12:37

    IDIOT! Hope you come a cropper by your being "boetie boetie" with Venter. Because you were impressed what he did at Saracens does not mean that he will do the same with the Sharks.

  • Pascal van Woezik - 2013-06-25 12:58

    I think John Smit is out of his dept and burning his bridges. Only time will tell, but a good captain and hooker at the 2007 World Cup doesn't make you a good administrator. He should have retired after the 2007 World Cup anyway.

  • Lois Lloyd - 2013-06-25 14:24

    If Plum has any sense he won't be walking around Umhlanga in 10 years' time - he will be back in his home country living a happy and peaceful life without the back-stabbers!

      Conrad Govender - 2013-06-25 17:27

      and coaching da all blacks

  • Niki Maartens - 2013-06-25 14:39

    How pathetic -- plumtree was Coach of the year in 2012 and White turned the Brumbies around and Smith ignores that ??????? What a fool. I honestly feel he had more brains than that.

  • Louis Ferreira - 2013-06-25 15:04

    Sour grapes Smith ummmm?

  • Calie Jacobs - 2013-06-25 15:48

    Blundering Barney!

  • Peter Boettger - 2013-06-26 05:21

    Bull S**t Smith could not handle a stronger personality in your little circle just read between the lines ,watch this space

  • Wickus Deysel - 2013-06-26 05:56

    Good decision Smit

  • Ivan Nel - 2013-06-26 07:34

    There is still a head coaching position. Brendon Venter is the director of Rugby. So can the Sharks afford to sign Jake White ? Or is Barney costing too much ?

  • Jon Lown - 2013-06-26 09:03

    Reality is they will never make Jake SA coach again whereas if Brendan Venter is successful at the Sharks this opens the door for him succeeding at national level. While a day doesnt go by without me rueing the insane loss and handling of Jake we do need fresh blood in our rugby setup. And having said that I think AC at stormers has also done his time - one dodgy curry cup does not a good coach make

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