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World Cup-winning Springboks coach taking charge of the Bulls

Richie McCormack
Richie McCormack

15:08 25 Mar 2020

Jake White has been appointed the new director of rugby at Super Rugby side, The Vodacom Bulls. 

The 2007 Rugby World Cup-winning head coach with the Springboks succeeds Alan Zondagh who stepped down from the role earlier this year.

White's most recently worked with Japanese Top League side Toyota Verblitz which is currently home to former All Blacks captain Kieran Read and fellow Springbok Willie Le Roux.

The 56 year old has previously coached in Super Rugby with both the Cell C Sharks and the Brumbies.

White appears to have a big job on his hands, joining a Bulls side who - prior to the coronavirus shut-down - had lost five of their first six matches of the Super Rugby season.

Last year the Bulls reached the quarter-finals where they were beaten 35-28 by the Hurricanes.

Speaking upon his arrival, White said, "We need to re-build a winning culture at Loftus, and that will no doubt bring the fans back to their beloved Loftus Versfeld. This won’t be easy, but we are up for it."

He also recognised the key role his side have to play in replenishing the stocks of the world champions, "It’s no secret that our franchise rugby needs to be strong for the Boks to be strong.

I’m looking forward to doing whatever it takes help keep them at number one."

Not everyone is happy to see White return to the South African rugby fold.

Former hooker James Dalton and White have a history that goes back to high school where Dalton played under the latter.

Prior to White's appointment at the Bulls, Dalton was quoted by Sport24 as saying, "It's worrying that they're considering bringing White back.

Our rugby is healthy at the moment and do you really want to bring someone into the system who's going to clash with Rassie [Erasmus, Springbok director of rugby] and the new structures, just because he thinks he's Jake White who won the World Cup in 2007?"

The 43-cap hooker didn't stop there, "Jake is not a people's person. He's an autocrat.

"I'm not saying he's not a good coach, but if you look at the World Cup group of 2007, then there are probably only about six players that [still] want something to do with him.

"You'd think here is a coach who will be admired for his achievements, but the players from that generation want nothing to do with him."

However, Bulls CEO Alphonso Meyer is happy with his new recruit, "We are extremely excited with Jake’s decision to join us.

"His credentials speak for itself and we know his contributions are only going to improve our rugby across the board.

"Jake’s appointment is yet another step in the right direction as we endeavour to take this brand into a new era."

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Read more about

2007 Rugby World Cup 2019 Rugby World Cup Bulls Jake White Rassie Erasmus Rugby World Cup South Africa Springboks Super Rugby Vodacom Bulls

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