MaCinJay’s Musings

another case of inverse vandalism

Posts Tagged ‘Springboks

New Bok coach

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SARU finally announced Jake White’s successor today – Pieter De Villiers edged out favourite Heyneke Meyer. Apparently he was chosen at least in part to show South African Rugby’s commitment to “transformation”; De Villiers is coloured, which qualifies him as “previously disadvantaged” in South Africa’s political lingua franca.

It’s tough on Meyer who has a Super 14 and a couple of Currie Cup Final wins under his belt. Then again De Villiers’s coaching background bears some resemblance to that of Jake White so perhaps it will prove to be a good appointment. I fear for De Villiers though as he has such a hard act to follow. If the Springboks are unable to maintain the high standards that they set for themselves in the World Cup fingers will be pointed at the new coach, who will be seen as little more than a token.

Written by macinjay

January 9, 2008 at 10:20 pm

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.

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