Jake White will not leave ACT Brumbies for England, say club

Jake White
White led South Africa to World Cup glory in 2007

Australian club ACT Brumbies insist coach Jake White will not leave them for the vacant England manager's job.

Former South Africa head coach White has admitted he would like to return to international coaching in the future.

Brumbies chief executive Andrew Fagan explained: "Whenever anyone asks him if he's interested in international jobs, he'll forever say 'yes'.

"But he's not talking about now. He called me into his office and said 'I want to clarify - I'm 100% committed'."

Fagan continued: "I wasn't concerned by the articles. I see it more that we've got a World Cup-winning coach so with his credentials, whenever there's a vacant job, his name will be linked to it."

He added that there is no clause in White's Brumbies contract that allows the coach to seek a release for an international position. "Nor did he ask for one," added Fagan.

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

White, 48, who led the Springboks to World Cup glory in 2007, did not rule out a return to international rugby when discussing the issue on Sunday.

However, he said he was "very happy" with the Super 15 side, 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 Radio 5 live's Sportsweek programme.

"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 White, who coached South Africa between 2004 and 2007.

"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."

Meanwhile, former Lions prop Fran Cotton has thrown his weight behind Nick Mallett to become the next England coach.

He told Sportsweek: "Nick has coached successfully with South Africa and Stade Francais and did a great job with Italy, which wasn't an easy job. Nick has the strength of personality to do the job."

Top Stories