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Jake White and the Sharks

Written by Rob Otto (robdylan)

Posted in :Original Content, Sharks on 26 Sep 2013 at 09:11
Tagged with : , ,

I hate to be the one to pour cold water on all the jubilant speculation doing the rounds this morning, but I feel I need to add my voice to the clamour. For those who’ve not yet picked up on the story, several major newspapers are running “Jake White to Coach Sharks?” and not all of them are using the question mark either.

The only confirmed fact that we have so far is that Jake White has been released from the final two years of his coaching gig at the Brumbies. Various sources have intimated that Jake asked to be released early after he couldn’t reconcile his disappointment over not getting the Australian national coaching post, despite being asked to apply. That, as far as I can tell, is really just speculation and since White himself hasn’t actually gone on the record about any of this, we simply don’t know what his motivation is at this stage.

It didn’t take long before the speculation-fueled media machine went into frenzy – the thinking being that “if Jake White is looking for a coaching job, then surely every South African franchise that exists must be falling over themselves to offer him a Director of Rugby position, regardless of whether somebody else currently fulfills that role for them.” He was immediately linked to both the Stormers and the Sharks, before WP quickly acted to deny that there was any interest from their side. That’s when the “Jake White will be Sharks Director of Rugby” stories started to appear.

Let’s be quite frank, though. Not a single one of those stories has any verifiable source – or even so much as a quote from anyone at the Sharks suggesting that Jake White has been appointed as so much as a tea lady. My reading of the situation is that the Sharks were just as surprised by White’s resignation yesterday as the Brumbies were.

All that we have to go on here is an expression of interest from Sharks CEO John Smit. Here’s what Smit sent me this morning:

“Bud, been inundated with calls about Jake, so let me just say that we have a definite plan for the Sharks. Could Jake White add value to our plans if available? Without doubt he could – he has an amazing track record and ability and we would welcome the opportunity to speak to him if it should arise.”

Now, that doesn’t sound to me like a confirmation that he’s the new Sharks coach, but according to Smit, the door is very much ajar should Jake be willing and able to play a role.


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