Jake White to leave Springboks and coach England ?

The Springbok management postponed a meeting today where Jake White’s contract was meant to be renewed and his future as coach of the Springboks has now been thrown into doubt ahead of the one-off Test against France at Newlands on Saturday.

After the meeting was postponed White and national teams’ manager Andy Marinos tried to deflect questions about his immediate future.

White picked up a shabby Bok side in 2004 and under his coaching the Springboks are now ranked second but he refused to answer a question on whether the French test would be his last Test in charge.

“There are other opportunities abroad, but I have a contract with the South African Rugby Union (SARFU) and I’ve had negotiations with them that have been ongoing,” White said.

“My first loyalty is to the team and really don’t want to put this issue on the players.”

Marinos said: “Jake White has a contract with SARFU until 2007 and we have been in discussions with his agent.

“Jake is a professional person and we cannot prohibit him from exploring other opportunities.

“When we renegotiate a contract there are other factors such as the make-up of the management team. The board appreciates the urgency of the matter but getting the personnel and the people right are important.

“The board will forward a proposal to the President’s Council for its approval and a decision will be made in early July.”

White is one of South Africa’s most successful coaches and has won 19 Tests as coach and lost seven. His record includes a 13-match unbeaten run at home and a Tri-Nations title in 2004.

Jake White is said to be flying to London after Saturday’s French test and will hold talks with the RFU and others. Jake White is known to follow a number of Clive Woodward’s coaching principles and South Africa are scheduled to play England in the group stages of RWC 2007.

Clive Woodward is friendly with White and Woodward is said to be favourite for the Director of rugby position with the RFU.

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