Sunday, 27 November 2011

White Sheds No England Daylight

Former South Africa head coach Jake White has distanced himself from the vacant England manager's job.

Martin Johnson quit the role following England's World Cup campaign, which was beset with problems both on and off the field of play.

White, who led the Springboks to World Cup glory in 2007, did not rule out a return to international rugby.

However, he said he was "very happy" at Super 15 side the Brumbies, with whom he started working in July.

"It would be wonderful to be back on the world stage... but I've committed myself to [the Brumbies]," White told BBC 5 live's Sportsweek.

"It's something I'd like to aspire to again. All coaches want to coach at the highest level, they want to judge themselves against the best in the world and I suppose when you've won a World Cup you'd like to win two World Cups and be the first coach to do that.

"At this moment in time I'm enjoying the fact I've got a new challenge. My Brumbies bosses have been very good to me, they want me to take their team to another level.

"They've had a disastrous couple of seasons and they want to get up to the top of the ladder again. They've backed me and I suppose it's only right I back them in times when they would probably think I'd let them down."

Despite White's comments, only last month he admitted he would like his old job back with South Africa following the resignation of Peter de Villiers, saying: "Whenever the job officially becomes available, I'll definitely put my CV in."

White added that he would be interested in working with Clive Woodward, who led England to the 2003 World Cup and is fancied to take over as England supremo when his role with the British Olympic Association ends after London 2012.

"I've chatted to Clive about working together, not just with England," said the 48-year-old White, who coached South Africa between 2004-07.

"When he left England he came to see me and said he'd love to stay in rugby and bounce ideas off me and stay in the game.

"And he's been there, done it - coached England, been through the highs and lows, and ended up taking them to a World Cup. It's amazing how a guy like him hasn't stayed in rugby."

However, White said the Rugby Football Union would be making a mistake if they appointed an interim manager.

"A caretaker coach is probably the soft option because that means you've got no confidence in the guy who's caretaker coach," said White.

"The players need to know who's in charge from now on, he's going to be the person who's controlling the destiny of where those players are going to be in four years time.

"So the quicker they can make the decision and get the best people involved, the more direction and cohesion you're going to give the players."