Jake's Bulls appointment backed by renowned coach and former Springbok

    2020-04-15 06:50

    Jake White's appointment at the Bulls has received backing from a renowned coach as well as a former Springbok.

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    White was recently confirmed as the Bulls' director of rugby and the former Springbok mentor will also take over the head coaching duties from Pote Human next year.

    For all his success, White has not always endeared himself to everyone where he has worked, but Swys de Bruin, a former Lions coach and a Springbok assistant, believes the Bulls made the right call.

    "Jake's history speaks for itself. He is a World Cup winner. He has heaps of experience and has experience of different countries' types of game styles," De Bruin told Netwerk24.

    White, who won the World Cup with the Springboks in 2007, also coached teams like the Brumbies (Australia), Sharks (South Africa), Montpellier (France) and Toyota Verblitz (Japan), while he was also a technical advisor at the Tongan national team.

    De Bruin added: "If you look at how Montpellier played when he was there... when he was at the Brumbies in Australia, compared to when he was at the Sharks... it's a variety of styles of different countries."

    Meanwhile, former Springbok utility forward AJ Venter also backed the Bulls' decision to draft in White, despite admitting that he and the former Bok mentor did not always see eye to eye.

    "To be honest, Jake White didn't really dig me at all. There was always like a funny vibe (between us). I was a player at the time so had massive respect for the guy, but I quickly realised that it wasn't mutual," Venter told Sport24 last week.

    Venter continued: "It is what it is. If I saw Jake right now I will say 'hello' to him, but at the time I didn't think he was too happy with me... I feel Jake has an interesting way of handling players. I always got the feeling that Jake had a handful of players that were his favourites. They were the leaders in the team and the rest of the guys were peripheral.

    "In terms of Jake's Bulls appointment, I'm really happy for him and it is obviously a fantastic opportunity to coach in Super Rugby. I think Jake will do well at the Bulls because Afrikaans players generally thrive under some discipline. It may be a bit different in Cape Town or Durban, but Jake’s style might actually suit the Bulls."

    When Super Rugby was halted due to the coronavirus pandemic, the Bulls were 12th on the overall standings, having won just one out of six matches.

    However, with rugby suspended, it appears likely that the southern hemisphere competition will be scrapped in 2020.

    Should rugby continue in South Africa later this year, it is likely that the Bulls will play in a domestic competition featuring the three other South African Super Rugby franchises (Sharks, Stormers, and Lions), as well as PRO14 outfits the Cheetahs and Southern Kings.

    A weekend newspaper report indicated that SA Rugby was hoping to have the country's professional players back on the playing field by 5 June.

    - Compiled by Herman Mostert

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