MaCinJay’s Musings

another case of inverse vandalism

Posts Tagged ‘Luke Watson

Jake tells it “In Black and White”

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I borrowed a copy of Jake White’s autobiography from a colleague to read during my second week in Boswana. It’s an engrossing book with one underlying theme: his boundless passion for the game of rugby, from his schooldays as a player to his crowning achievement as coach of the World Cup Champions. White’s account lays bare his stormy relationship with the South Africa Rugby Union and sheds light on the Luke Watson affair.

According to White the Watson family approached him via an intermediary to pick the Stormers captain in his squad in return for his survival as Springbok coach. Fearful of losing his position on the cusp of taking his team to the World Cup, White eventually accepted the offer only for the Watson family to then withdraw it. As previously related White subsequently came under pressure from SAFU to select Watson, which led to the subsequent inclusion of the player against the coach’s will.

Less controversial perhaps, but no less fascinating, is White’s account of his time as technical analyst to former coach Nick Mallett’s Springbok side, which culminated in his axing from the position after a fall-out with assistant coach Alan Solomons over selection policy. Interestingly, a similar fate befell White after he was appointed as assistant to Harry Viljoen (who replaced Mallett as Bok coach) following a stint with Natal.

White’s sense of redemption is palpable in the chapter dealing with the World Cup victory, which I’m sure will not be diminished in any way by the surprise loss to the Barbarians in his last game in charge. The book does end on a sour note though, understandably so considering his casual mistreatment at the hands of SAFU.

Goodbye Jake, you will be missed.

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Boks win White’s final test in charge

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For me there is always a sense of ennui after a major sporting tournament. So I was not particularly looking forward to the game against Wales, especially after the furore over Jake White’s resignation, and did not get to see it as we had other plans.

It is good to see though that the team gave him a fitting send-off, beating Wales 34-12. Now all that’s left is the game against the Barbarians side next weekend and the White era will be over, at least as far as the Springboks go.

I am looking forward to reading his autobiography In Black and White (clever title that), which apparently gives the lowdown on the politicking behind the scenes by the likes of Luke Watson’s father Cheeky. The book was sold out when we went shopping yesterday and I have heard that more copies have been bought here than the latest Harry Potter instalment, which is no mean feat.

Should be a fascinating read.

Written by macinjay

November 25, 2007 at 9:20 am

White resigns

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It certainly didn’t take long for South African rugby supporters to be brought down to earth after the Bok’s World Cup triumph – Jake White announced today that he would vacate his position after the Barbarians tour at the end of the year. Frankly it’s the mark of the quality of the man that he didn’t resign before the World Cup even began, considering the treatment meted out to him by the SA Rugby Union. This culminated in their bizarre selection of Western Province captain Luke Watson for the preliminary squad, despite the fact that White never wanted the player in the team. Inexplicably though Watson never made it to Paris – I suspect that White told SARU that if Watson was put in the final squad against his wishes, he would walk. Supposedly even SARU weren’t stupid enough to let the the national team’s coach resign on the eve of the World Cup.

The final straw for White must have been the announcement of the shortlist for the coach’s position, one that didn’t include his name. In any other country the administrators would be falling over themselves to keep the World Cup-winning coach in the job!

Written by macinjay

October 31, 2007 at 11:04 pm