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VIDEO: Bulls ready for the 'Nienaber factor'

Jacques Nienaber and Jake White have both won World Cups with the Springboks.


On Friday, at the RDS Arena in Dublin, they will put their respective sagaciousness on display when Leinster host the Bulls in a top-of-the-table United Rugby Championship Round 13 encounter.

Nienaber has an intimate knowledge of the Bulls – certainly of some of their key players.

However, White is not concerned, saying that those players also have an in-depth knowledge of Nienaber and his mindset.

“Players from the Boks set-up, would have given feedback to our players on what his mindset is and what the non-negotiables are when he coaches,” White said in the build-up to Friday’s big face-off.

The Bulls pointed out that Nienaber is not the head coach, which is Leo Cullen.

“The head coach [Cullen] would still rubberstamp everything they want to do.”


White also pointed to the fact that Leinster has about a 95 percent win rate and that is even before Nienaber arrived in Dublin this year.

“They don’t lose too often,” he said, adding: “If it means Jacques just sharpens up [Leinster], it is not that they had nothing.

“They have always been an incredibly good team.

“The added value he gives – even though it might take a while to catch onto it – it can only make them better.


“They are not going to get worse than they were.”

Nienaber’s ‘new ideas’ will not detract from the quality the Bulls will face on Friday.

“It is a strength of theirs, the willingness to take on some new ideas and tactics that can add to their game.”

The biggest change is that Leinster now defends like the Boks, but White said.

“That is good for us, because our players understand what it feels like.

“Conversely they also understand what is the risk if they [Leinster] don’t get it right.

“The pros and cons of getting coaches and players from different teams are that they share ideas.”

He said Leinster can always revert to what they have done before, should Nienaber’s way not work.

“That is the secret of really good teams – the ability to play, attach or defend in more than just one way.

“Really good teams have the ability to adapt in the game.”

(WATCH as Bulls Director of Rugby Jake White explains how his team will deal with the Jacques Nienaber factor when they face Leinster at the RDS on Friday…..)

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White, who has been coaching for some 30 years, is showing no sign that his enthusiasm and appetite for the game waning.

“Someone asked me just the other day: ‘How long are you going to do this for?’,” the 60-year-old Bulls boss told @URCOfficial in an interview.

“I said: ‘As long as I keep loving it’.

“I am very fortunate.

“I coach in a country where it’s the national sport and I am coaching a team that people enjoy and a team that’s on the up.

“I don’t think it gets too much better than that.

“So I still love it.”

White’s long coaching career has taken in spells in Australia (Brumbies), France (Montpellier), Japan (Verblitz) and Tonga, where he worked with the national team.

Then, of course, there has been his contribution in South Africa, most notably as coach of the Springboks, whom he guided to World Cup glory in 2007.

Since 2020, he has been at the helm of the Pretoria-based Bulls and building a team that now really looks ready to vie for silverware.



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