White: SA rugby needs to value its traditions
Cape Town - Former Springbok coach Jake White says South African rugby needs to show a greater appreciation for its traditional values.
White shares his view via a column for the All Out Rugby website on Tuesday.
He used Argentina as an example, noting how far they’ve progressed at national and regional level since finishing third in the 2007 Rugby World Cup.
“In 2007, pundits would have expected an invitational team from Argentina to get murdered by SA’s top provincial sides. Now, they’re beating our ‘regional’ teams," White wrote, noting his concern at the South African teams’ struggles in Super Rugby.
“In South Africa, some of the greatest players leave out the back door. Os du Randt retires and, after a short stint as the Boks scrum coach, he’s gone. Percy Montgomery was the kicking coach, and the next week he’s gone.”
White also expressed sadness that Newlands was likely to close its doors, with WP Rugby likely to move its headquarters to Cape Town Stadium.
“It would be remiss of me, as a guy talking about rugby tradition, not to mention that we’re quietly going to close Newlands, one of the game’s most iconic venues, without so much as a send-off. The second oldest rugby ground in the world may have hosted its last Test and its last Super Rugby match without so much as a goodbye. We’re just going to wipe that history away without a thought.”
White said Argentina had done well to copy New Zealand in holding on to its traditions.
“One of the things I’ve never enjoyed about South African rugby is that we don’t know how to finish things in an orderly way. In New Zealand, they temporarily rename a stadium for Wyatt Crockett; our veterans almost never retire with a swansong. You can’t always get it right, but we don’t even try. They understand that thinking in Argentina. Maybe that’s part of the reason the Jaguares are nine points clear of the Stormers with a game in hand.”
White, who coached the Springboks to World Cup glory in France in 2007, currently coaches the Toyota Verblitz club in Japan.
READ Jake White’s full column on the All Out Rugby website