British & Irish Lions should snap up Jake White

South Africa Rugby are still hoping to persuade Springbok coach Jake White, who has been linked with the England coach’s job, to stay on as director of rugby.

White has been tipped by many South African journalists to take over England if Brian Ashton is not given a new contract. It would be the first time in English history that England Rugby have appointed a coach that was not born in the UK and England have not said that they need a new coach yet.


Under Ashton England reached a World cup final, broke a Calcutta Cup record and beat Wales by a record score all in less than a year. Why would they sack him ?


White revealed last week he would not be renewing his contract with SA Rugby, which expires on December 31 although it appears that he was going to resign whether he had won the world cup or not.


White could add value to England but he does not know the English players or the workings. He does however have superior knowledge of Southern Hemisphere players.


The British & Irish Lions will be touring South Africa in June 2009 and who better as an assistant or technical advisor than Jake White ? His knowledge of Springbok players is second to none. He could fulfill this position if he was in the Wales or the England set up. It is a golden opportunity.

SA Rugby’s managing director, Jonathan Stones, has taken note of comments by White’s agent, Craig Livingstone, that the 44-year-old was in discussions with the RFU and wants Jake to stay on in some form.

“Jake and I have spoken twice this week in my office, and I have not changed my view that I would like him to stay on in one way or another in SARugby”, Stones said.

“He has asked for some time and this has been given to him. We would certainly like him to stay one way or another. But if he chooses to go overseas to pursue other options, we will wish him good luck.”Stones added.

If White is to go overseas The British & Irish Lions would surely not miss an opportunity like this so the South African Rugby Union had better act quickly and try their best to get him in some way, shape or form before he is snatched up by someone else.

History has a funny way of repeating itself and few will forget that Graham Henry was coach of the 2001 British & Irish Lions and then coach of the opposition in 2005. The British & Irish Lions should be setting up a situation where the coach of their next opposition is on board with them long before the tour starts.

Ireland coach Eddie O’Sullivan has been mentioned when the position of British & Irish Lions Head Coach is talked about and it’s unlikely that Jake White could be named as head coach but as Technical Advisor he would be perfect, just as Eddie Jones was for South Africa.

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