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VIDEO- 'Eight different flights not fair' says White on travel nightmare

VIDEO: Eight different airlines and destinations await the Bulls en route to their Champions Cup quarterfinal encounter with Northampton Saints at Franklin Gardens on Saturday evening.


That is the logistical nightmare Bulls coach Jake White has to contend with to prepare a team to be fresh and ready for this showdown.

On the positive side his team managed to train in rainy conditions the past week similar to the kind of weather they can expect in England.

As the only South African team still left in the Champions Cup, one would expect SA Rugby to give them the best possible scenario to make it a successful challenge.

White explained the travellling schedule on Tuesday morning at the Loftus B-field where the team trains while the rain was pouring down.

“We leave tonight. On eight different flights.

“It’s not ideal. Let’s be fair.


“The reality is we are talking about a high performance sport, you’re talking about being able to be competitive. There are not many sporting teams that would leave on eight different airlines on a Tuesday evening to play a Saturday night game,” White said.

“So for whatever reason, I’m sure that the powers that be will sort it out.

“It isn’t what was expected. We were sold it’s an overnight flight and that’s why we are playing in Europe.

“Two weeks ago we went to Leinster, it took us 28 hours to get there and 27 hours to get back.


“Whether we like it or not, it comes at a cost. It comes at a cost, whether we fly business class or not – and I am very fortunate, our board pays for our starting team [to fly business class], which is a fantastic gesture on their behalf, and it is a massive bonus.

“But no sporting team flies 28 hours and no sporting team today, as we speak, flies on eight different airplanes, some to Birmingham, some to London, some land at nine, some land at two.”

The frustration was clear to see but White tried to keep positive.

“When you are talking about a competition that you want to win, talking about a competition where you want to be the best in the world then the one doesn’t add to the other one.

“And that’s where we have to get to. And I’m not going to stop saying that. If we want to be the best you have to do those things right.”

He said ideally, in an ideal world, he would’ve loved to leave on Wednesday night, landed there on Thursday while he prepped the team in Pretoria on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

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“Logistically we have to make sure everyone gets fetched and carried in shuttles and then hopefully we will arrive in Northampton by tomorrow lunchtime and everyone should be in the hotel.

“Then we are going to get ready with a prep session on Thursday. And difficulty come when everybody comes back because everyone then goes via different journeys on the way home as well, some via Doha, some via Dubai, come via Frankfurt.

When you leave on Tuesday and guys are sore on Monday after a really tough geme against Lyon – and people assume because it was 59-19, it’s not a tough fixture – remember it’s a French team that play a certain style and they ask different physical attributes of you.

“59-19 can sometimes be a tougher fixture for you than winning 15-10. So now we leave on a Tuesday and that gives you limited time. Monday they are a bit sore, On Tuesday you basically want to do as much prep as you can.

“But we will get there. I am totally confident as this competition grows and as people understand it, we will get there,” he concluded.

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