White: No depth in Oz teams

2012-02-10 08:47

Sydney - Former Springboks Rugby World Cup-winning coach Jake White has suddenly discovered why Australian teams have only occasionally won the Super Rugby tournament. It adds up to a shortage of numbers and an uneven playing field.

White, who has taken over at the Brumbies, said on Thursday that it was more difficult for Australian teams to win the title because of player restrictions.

''It is so much tougher for the Australian teams because there is a salary cap and you can only have 30 players,'' White said. ''There is no academy - so there's no junior age groups you can pull players from. So you really can't underestimate what Ewen McKenzie did with the Reds last year - for an Australian team to win the title was a fantastic achievement.

''The main difficulty I am having is when you don't have an academy and you don't have an under-21 side it makes it tough to have the required depth. [South African] teams, like the Bulls and Sharks, can draw in under-21 players, while New Zealand teams can draw in players from their provincial competition.

''The Blues can drag in players from North Harbour, the Chiefs can get players from Taranaki and so on. And in South Africa, they can bring in players from other areas. But here it is different. That is the difficulty of coaching an Australian franchise team. You are playing in the competition involving 15 teams and five teams have restrictions the other 10 don't have.''

At least White is happy he will be able to field a team. While the Brumbies have lost a tribe of Wallabies including Rocky Elsom, Adam Ashley-Cooper, Matt Giteau and Stephen Hoiles, White argues they are still better off than some other provinces.

When asked if he had a lot of talent to choose from, White said: ''We are as good as we can be in that framework … At this point in time, the Brumbies have a lot of positives other teams don't have. I have 32 guys fit and ready to play, whereas other franchises have a lot of injuries. As much as the squad is inexperienced and new, there are bonuses.''

Who will be the Brumbies captain remains a mystery.

''I've just joined them, I don't really know the players and haven't seen them play. So it would be unfair for me to immediately announce a captain,'' White said.

''There are a lot of guys there who have leadership potential but the most important thing is that I'm looking for a captain who complements me and brings the best out in the group.''

Rugby Heaven

  • daniersa - 2012-02-10 08:50

    Didn't an Australian team just win it??

      Morne - 2012-02-10 09:01

      yes, he did mention it. That's why he says you cant underestimate what Ewen has done with the reds. I would rather have a limited group of players to choose from on merit, than have a big group and be told who to pick.

      daniersa - 2012-02-10 09:19

      I saw he mentioned it. Just feels like Jake always start with excuses and then goes and beats everybody up. I tend to disagree with him. The Reds gave a few debuts last year to players from club rugby who were not too bad, so there is something happening. They have won the World Cup twice and are always in the thick of things when it comes to SANZAR decisions. They would have changed things a long time ago if they felt it would improve their rugby. They ended 3rd at the World Cup and the Rebels in their first season won a few games. AND let's not forget about the players Jake let go... Do agree with @Morne that a limited group of players will work best. John Mitchell said he is trying to do that at the Lions this year and he knows what he's doing.

      Blip - 2012-02-10 09:37

      And Aussie teams have won more Super Rugby titles than SA teams have... (Especially -- and ironically -- the Brumbies!)

      Jacques - 2012-02-10 09:48

      Blip you poephol, Brumbies has only won it twice.

      Pierre - 2012-02-10 09:56

      White already putting excuses out and that even before the season started. Just show his confidence level with an Australian team.

      Morne - 2012-02-10 09:57

      JW has a psychological approach to rugby and his players, thats why he has been so succesfull. He understands the importants of creating a positve mind set within his group of players, this brings out the best in them. He's comments are deliberate and with meaning. He is the 'coach to beat' in the competition, the excuses he makes is to lower the expectations of him and the brumbies players, this will allow them to perform the best to their abilities. I believe this has been the problem with many great rugby players that fade away (in SA)

      Paul - 2012-02-10 10:36

      The price you pay for living in a nanny state.

      Phil - 2012-02-10 14:21

      Did you read the article or are you just pretending to be dumb?

      Phil - 2012-02-10 14:27

      The plain and simple facts are that Australia has a relatively small pool of players to choose from. From memory , SA has over 400,000 registered rugby players. Australia has approx 10% of that. Countries like NZ and Oz consistently punch well above their weight. Countries like England (with approx 600,000 registered rugby players) and SA consistently punch BELOW their weights. That is a fact.

      Geronimo - 2012-02-11 12:43

      @Phil. Sadly, you are spot on. England and SA have the two highest registered number of players, yet both manage to under perform whilst NZ and Aus hugely over perform. The irony with Jake White's comments on depth is that, for all of SA's alleged depth (we always say how much depth we have but blame other factors...) our teams largely remain Super rugby bridesmaids.

      Matthew - 2012-02-12 12:14

      Hence why he says that the Reds achievement can't be underestimated, in the 3rd paragraph. Maybe read before commenting.

  • Jason - 2012-02-10 09:31

    Cant see the reds doing it again this year, Saders are going to be impossible now that they have a pitch to host themselves on. Stormers are definitely going to take it this year.

      paulmandlankosi - 2012-02-10 09:38

      Stormers you mean? Stop dreaming, wake up.

      Jason - 2012-02-10 11:27

      u know its going to happen paul

      Jason - 2012-02-10 11:28

      P.S. Stormers is spelt correctly

  • Jandals - 2012-02-10 09:40

    ''It is so much tougher for the Australian teams because there is a salary cap and you can only have 30 players,'' A couple of paragraphs later........."I have 32 guys fit and ready to play, whereas other franchises have a lot of injuries. As much as the squad is inexperienced and new, there are bonuses.'' I suppose the bonus for Jake is that he has 2 extra players? Just saying, don't shoot the messenger

      Wimpie - 2012-02-10 10:17

      yes...because they are: the referee and a linesman.

      Jandals - 2012-02-10 10:34

      @Bokkoors LOL classic

      Deon - 2012-02-10 11:44

      He still might have to fire 2 players as Oz allow only 30 players per team. Maybe these 2 can join the Kings.

  • Forsythe - 2012-02-10 09:41

    so there's no depth, thats been the story with the aussies, but they still manage to squeeze 22 guys together to give our boks a hiding with all our depth.

      Hallo - 2012-02-10 09:54

      Your mom gets hidings. They beat us only with the help of referees.

      Pierre - 2012-02-10 09:57

      Yes, but that guy Lawrence was outstanding for them.

      Morne - 2012-02-10 10:30

      @Bootman, lol, I agree. Thats what Rudolf Strauli tried, put big men on the field and think they'll magically learn how to play rugby. What a chop he was..

      Tom - 2012-02-10 10:31

      A loss is a loss mense. Put on your big boy pants and take it on the chin.

      Phil - 2012-02-11 01:00

      @ Hallo "They beat us only with the help of referees " People like you are one of the reasons we consistently underperform. If you continue to fool yourself that the only reason we lose is because of the ref ...........then there is no reason for us to improve is there. The FACT of the matter is that Australia has beaten the Manne ...5 times out of the last seven matches. We finished stone LAST in the Tri-Nations last year ....and overall , since the inception of the Tri-Nations , the Manne are the POOREST performing team ....yet we have by FAR the biggest pool of players to chose from. That should make people think ...shouldn't it?

  • gerry.pelser - 2012-02-10 09:57

    Cheetahs? Stormers? Watch for the Lions this year, they will surprise everyone by winning a game. Maybe even two!

      Wimpie - 2012-02-10 10:18

      LOL...i bet the lions cant wait for the Kings to join S15, so they wont be at the bottom of the log anymore...

  • Theunis - 2012-02-10 12:54

    Check him pulling our BOYS for them

      Jandals - 2012-02-10 14:28

      The mind boggles?

  • Ulrich Davis - 2012-02-10 13:57

    What's the difference between Jake White and Graham Henry? Graham Henry won a World Cup and 3 Super Rugby trophies with the BLUES!!! Jake you need to catch up, can't wait to kick some Brumbie ass!!! ALL BLACKS FOREVER!!! Kia Kaha!!!

  • tyronlouw - 2012-02-10 17:10

    Jake is right, but their youth development strategies offset this, which is why the Aussies are still competitive. One of Jakes strengths is his ability to build a team.

  • Bootman - 2012-02-10 17:51

    The reason why the Ozzies are successful even with there lack of depth is, they play intellegent rugby. None of this "half a braincell" rubbish that the Boks keep dishing up. The problem is we have too many Danie's, Pierre's,Wynand's and Bakkies in our team. How can you teach someone rugby when all he can do is plant mielies and drive a tractor. It irks me when a rugby player is regarded as strong and tough because he grew up on a farm.No!!!! all he is is dumb.

      Phil - 2012-02-11 06:12

      "The reason why the Ozzies are successful even with there lack of depth is, they play intellegent rugby. None of this "half a braincell" rubbish that the Boks keep dishing up " Of course. Ons bloed is groen ......and our eyes are blinkered. If it wasnt for Bryce lawrence we would have won EVERY Tri-Nations and World Cup. Wouldn't we ?

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