Smit: Jake treated players like schoolboys

2016-08-15 10:30
Jake White (Gallo)

Cape Town - Outgoing Sharks CEO John Smit has opened up on why former coach Jake White had left the union.

The former Springbok coach joined the Sharks for the 2014 Super Rugby season and things started well.

The Sharks finished top of the South African conference and went on to feature in the Super Rugby semi-finals that year.

But things then went pear-shaped and in an interview with the The Mercury, Smit revealed why it was better for White to leave the union.

Smit, a former Springbok captain, and White previously had a good working relationship, leading the Boks to the 2007 World Cup title.

“Jake was doing a good rugby job, but he was beating people up along the way. He was alienating just about everyone. I told him he could not continue. The John Mitchell effect was fast approaching, in terms of a player revolt,” Smit said last week.

"The senior players were fed up with Jake treating them like schoolboys. The situation was becoming untenable, and I think he was more relieved than me when we parted ways.

“Jake’s treatment of some of the players was regrettable. Keegan Daniel went from holding the Currie Cup at the end of 2013 to being treated like a leper.”

White currently coaches French Top 14 side Montpellier.

In the same interview, Smit also regretted how he handled the sacking of John Plumtree as Sharks coach when he started his tenure as CEO in 2013.

Smit, who came into the job after leaving Saracens as a player, was keen to freshen up the coaching at the Durban side early in his tenure.

But he has now admitted to being at fault, explaining that the public nature of Plumtree's proposed exit had left the New Zealand coach angry.

Smit will leave his post as Sharks CEO at the end of October, when he will be replaced by former Sharks and Springbok skipper Gary Teichmann.

Read more on:    sharks  |  super rugby  |  currie cup  |  jake white  |  john smit  |  durban  |  rugby


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