The South African Rugby Union (Saru) poured cold water on suggestions that Jake White, who coached the Springboks to the 2007 World Cup title, could return as a director of rugby.
SuperRugby reports that White told Wednesday’s edition of Die Burger, a Cape Town-based Afrikaans newspaper, that he wanted “to be director of rugby in South Africa”.
However, Saru president Oregan Hoskins said on Wednesday that the post did not exist and there had been no discussions with White.
“We have had no discussions with Jake White on the subject and, in fact, the principle of a director of rugby post will only be reviewed by the president’s council on Friday,” Hoskins said.
White’s successor as Springbok coach, Peter de Villiers, is under fire as his team have lost four of their five Tri-nations matches, including unprecedented successive home losses to New Zealand and Australia.
White told Die Burger that he was not interested in becoming the head coach again but that he would like to help in the background.
“I want to become director of rugby,” White said. “I don’t want to be in the limelight and I’m also not looking for the pressures that go with it. I’ve had my turn. All that I would like to do is help. That’s what I have always wanted to do.”
De Villiers can take heart from Hoskins’s statement on Monday that “De Villiers, his management team and playing squad have my unequivocal backing and that of the South African Rugby Union president’s council and of the board of SA Rugby.”
After South Africa’s 27-15 loss to Australia in Durban last weekend, De Villiers, captain Victor Matfield and the players were booed by the crowd.
De Villiers took over from White, who was not reappointed after he did not reapply for his position following the World Cup triumph, in January and has a four-year contract as head coach.Tweet