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Where to for the great White Shark?

Jake White's departure from the Sharks has led to far flung rumours of his next role to spring up from Stellenbosch to Japan and Ireland.


White, it seems, is still a wanted man.


From a Baby Bok World Cup-wining coach, Springbok World Cup-winning coach, taking the Brumbies to a Super Rugby Final and now former Director of Rugby of the Sharks.


No doubt he has a very impressive resume.


However, it has been reported that White's dictatorial coaching style won him few friends in his time, and most recently at the Sharks where (if reports are to be believed) he was no longer heading a harmonious environment.


Even with this negative press and a high level of criticism from fans and foes as a result of the Sharks' archaic kick-and-chase game plan, there is still a high demand for White's pricey signature.


The official reason for White's departure was: "The time is right for Jake to free himself up for any international coaching and consulting opportunities ahead of the [World Cup] tournament in England."


That was a statement issued by the Sharks.


Does this mean that White may answer the call for long time pal and former colleague at the Springboks Eddie Jones, who is looking to turn Japan into a force ahead of the World Cup next year?


Jones himself was reported to have told Kyodo News: "He [White] is going to do some consultancy, I just don't know where.


"If we are able to find a position for him then he would add enormous experience."


Perhaps it is a little closer to home with Die Burger reporting that White was keen on a top rugby job at Stellenbosch University.


Freddie Ferreira, president of the Maties Rugby Club, confirmed that a new Head of Rugby position is set to be advertised by the university and Die Burger has heard strong rumours linking White with the position.


White's name has even been bandied around Ireland with speculation linking the former Springbok coach with Ulster's vacant Director of Rugby job.


The interesting point around this speculation is that the break from the Sharks cannot be considered clean, nor can his break from the Brumbies where he again did not fulfil his contract.


And we all know his departure from the Bok coaching job was rather unpleasant, given his acrimonious relationship with South African Rugby Union officials – who called him back from midway through the 2006 year-end tour to front up to an angry SARU board.


So, White is a coach that can clearly deliver the goods in terms of results – and as such he is highly valued (evidently). 


But should he be rated higher than a man who can turn around a union that has long had its issues with performances and player retention and make it into a family that plays impressive attacking rugby that is always improving?


I'm sure those in Johannesburg would say no.


What about a coach that can get a team to fight its way from obscurity to the Premier Division and be competitive to a point where the defending champions fall to their knees in front of him?


Nelspruit, what say you?


The idea that a coach's name and cold hard results get him further than a more holistic coach, who puts his heart and soul into his team and the game of rugby is a crying shame.


By: Darryn Pollock




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