Jake White takes on technical role with Tonga

Rugby World Cup winning coach Jake White has on a technical advisers role with Pacific Island side Tonga for their upcoming tour of the Nothern Hemisphere.

White recently left his position as Director of Rugby with the Durban, South Africa based Sharks who won the South African Super Rugby conference but were knocked out of the tournament in the play offs.

The former Sharks boss led the Brumbies to the Super Rugby final in 2013 but then announced his departure from the Canberra side after he was overlooked for the Wallabies coaching position which went to Ewen McKenzie.

White led South Africa to Rugby World Cup glory in 2007 but his contract was not renewed and his position with Tonga will be the first at international level since that time.

Tonga’s high-performance director Peter Harding says that after they heard White was available they decided to “have a lash” by asking White to join the tour which will see Tonga playing matches against Georgia, Scotland and the USA

“It’ll be just a month where we’ll try to suck him dry of information, talk to him about World Cup preparation and get him to assist the coaches in any way he can while he’s there,” Harding told the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

White has frequently said that he wants to coach at international level again and Harding dismissed speculaltion that they might be trialing White with an eye on replacing current coach Mana Otai for the 2015 Rugby World Cup.

“It’ll just be the northern hemisphere tour at the moment,” Harding said.

“Someone of Jake’s standing and qualifications will get all sorts of offers next year.”

Harding added that White has enormous respect for Tongan rugby after they gave the Springboks a scare in the pool stage of the 2007 Rugby World Cup before eventually losing 30-25.

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